Is Your Entire Family Prepared for Emergencies at All Times?

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By Denis Korn

Is your ENTIRE family prepared for emergencies at all times?
Is your ENTIRE family:

    • Secure
    • Knowledgeable
    • Responsible
    • Patient
    • Prayerful
    • Vigilant

in an emergency situation?

Recent events have brought us catastrophic circumstances that have had devastating and lasting effects on thousands of people around the world.  I pray that you take this advice seriously.   Recent conversations have also motivated me to consider this important article as a foundational article.

I am reminded of a presentation I made some years back to a large gathering of preparedness professionals.  This convention consisted of folks who came from all over the country and of course this meant that they would be gone from their families for a few days.  Bear in mind that at my presentation there were a couple hundred people whose responsibilities included preparedness planning and education for very large companies, organizations, and governmental agencies.

At the beginning of my talk I asked the group how many felt completely confident that in their absence their families were prepared to deal with unforeseen emergencies or disasters – especially significant ones.  Only a few raised their hands!  Since most of these participants were the head of their households, what does it tell you about fulfilling one’s responsibility to protect and keep the family secure in difficult times?

Fortunately over the years the professional emergency management community has become more dedicated to personally embodying what they are responsible for in government and business.  What about the average household?  Is your family prepared for emergencies in all seasons of the year?

It appears that most head of households have the notion that their presence is security enough for the family during an emergency.  This is a dangerous assumption.  The sensible attitude is to ensure that all family members – adults – the elderly – teenagers – and young children, know:

  • What to do
  • How to respond
  • Where to go – or not go
  • Who to contact
  • Where the information and supplies are located
  • How to use and operated essential equipment
  • How to access drinking water
  • How to prepare any food reserves
  • How to communicate with family and emergency personnel
  • How to keep warm in freezing conditions
  • How to have the proper attitude
  • How to pray

 

Instructions should be in writing and the entire family should participate in drills and practices.  Family members – immediate and extended – should know their part during an emergency under all scenarios and given any combination of family members physically present – or absent.

  • Do your children, spouse and other family members know what to do and how to act if a serious emergency occurs and they are not at home?
  • How will your communicate with them or those in their keeping?
  • What if they are at school – what plans does the school have to communicate with parents or guardians?
  • What will the school provide for students?
  • What if they are at work – what plans does the business or organization have to communicate with other family members?
  • What will the business provide for their employees?
  • Does the business or organization have their own contingency plans?
  • Do you have contingency plans for communication and provisioning for your spouse – adult children – younger children when they are away from home at camp, business trip, etc.?
  • What if an emergency occurs while a family member is in their vehicle and in transit?
  • Is your family secure, knowledgeable and responsible?

Between Learn To Prepare and numerous internet websites, there is an abundance of valuable information for the whole family.  Study this information as if your life and your families’ life depended on it – in a significant emergency it does!

 So I ask all of you reading this post:  In your absence is you family adequately educated and prepared to properly respond and survive during a serious emergency situation?  I encourage you to have all family members read the Foundational Articles on the right column of this blog.

The post Is Your Entire Family Prepared for Emergencies at All Times? appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

The Essential & Comprehensive Checklist

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By Denis Korn                                                                                                                    emergency_preparedness1

NOTE:  The demand for the information given in this list has been significant – so I am posting it again with additional comments and items.  There are listed both convenient and essential items required for proper preparedness & adventure.  Only you know your unique situations and anticipated scenarios – prepare accordingly.

This is one of the 15 Foundational Articles which are available on the column to the right.  As we enter the holiday season and the winter, it is extremely important to have essential provisions on hand.  Review this list seriously and welcome to peace of mind!

Many of the items listed in this checklist are available at our product website PrepareDirect.  We will be adding new items and categories continually so please visit us.

This exceptionally comprehensive essential checklist for emergency preparedness should be a crucial assist in your emergency, survival and outdoor adventure planning – study it carefully! It is one of the most comprehensive lists available – thankfully copied by many.

For most people planning for emergencies is similar to planning for a camping trip or any other outdoor adventure where the normal conveniences of home are not available. The biggest difference is determining whether to plan for being away from home or in your own residence – or perhaps both. The equipment to include in your emergency kit or camping supplies list will be very comparable. Differences and variations will generally depend upon the severity and length of time you anticipate for your emergency scenario. Long term emergencies and outdoor explorations will require, in addition to this list, more extensive planning and provisioning.

Important questions to answer as you do your planning: 

  • Are the equipment and supplies necessary to fulfill your needs going to be based on how cheap they are, or on the quality, value, and reliability of the product?
  • What are the repercussions or benefits from the choices that are made?
  • Who is affected?
  • What chances are you willing to take with inferior and inadequate provisions?
  • What will the climate be during the emergency or adventure – weather and political?
  • What is the probable availability of essential goods and services at the location where you are or where you are going for your adventure or during your anticipated emergency?

I highly recommend you evaluate and answer the 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning.

Although this list is an authoritative and comprehensive compilation of crucial supplies for emergency preparedness and outdoor adventure, these suggestions focus on basic necessities, and are not intended to be an exhaustive and detailed list of all choices, as each person or group has their own special requirements and needs. While there are numerous options to choose from in each category, use this guideline of essentials to ensure you have evaluated all the possibilities given the scenarios and .circumstances for which you are preparing and provisioning, whether for preparedness planning or outdoor adventuring.

Your comfort, enjoyment and life may depend upon it!

Be clear about the time factors, persons involved, and situations that you anticipate will occur in an emergency or an outdoor experience. Knowing this information is crucial to stocking the appropriate items in the appropriate quantities. Many of these items will be essential for bartering if supplies are exhausted and the emergency you are preparing for is long term.

Proper provisioning is about safety, health, protection, comfort, and peace of mind – for not only you, but also your family and friends.

Items with an asterisk * are recommended for a “grab-and-go bag” or “bug out bag.” This is an easily accessible bag you keep near by to grab when you only have a moments notice to evacuate. Items with a double asterisk ** indicates items for your bag whose quantity will depend on the length of your anticipated emergency scenario. You may require more than one quick-grab-bag depending on your specific needs.

As a complement to this checklist I highly recommend answering the questions in: The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning article.

Important and related posts:

Essential Emergency Grab-and-Go Kit Information & Advice

10 Foundational Elements of Preparedness Planning

Critical Questions and Essential Information About Bug-Out-Bags and Vehicle Preparedness

THE LIST

  1. Carrier for Provisions

If you anticipate having to relocate, have your transportable supplies in one or two easily accessible carriers, especially if you must leave in a hurry.

  • *Backpack
  • *Large duffel/canvass bag with duel shoulder straps in case it has to be carried for some distance
  • Lightweight suitcase/sturdy container/Food and Supply Brick™
  • Wheeled device
  1. Water

An obvious necessity for everyone. Know what water sources are available to you during an emergency, or in the outdoors. Plan accordingly and don’t hold back preparing for this essential category. Don’t go cheap!

  • *Gravity/hand pump water purifier/filter/extra cartridges/straw filters
  • *Bottle purifier/filter
  • *Purification tablets – Chlorine Dioxide/iodine
  • *Separate containers for dirty and treated water
  • Multiple containers depending upon situation
  • WaterBricks™ water container
  • Camelback™ & bladder type containers
  • **Specially packaged water (5+ years storage life), Aqua Blox®
  • **Bottled water (2 years storage life) – can be filtered or treated if older
  • Solar or stove top distillers
  • Survival Still® non-electric portable distiller
  • Desalinators for salt water
  • Reverse osmosis purifiers
  • UV purifiers
  • Additives – colloidal silver/bio-active silver hydrosol/stabilized oxygen/BioFilm drops
  • Chlorine (5.25 % sodium hypochlorite, non-scented only with no additives – 6 drops per gallon)
  • Manual pump if near a well
  • Water gathering supplies – plastic tarps/containers/instructions
  • Water stored in your own containers – large and small
  1. Food

Numerous options are available. This category must be accessed carefully depending upon the length of time of the emergency or outing, and severity of circumstances you anticipate might occur. Remember, certain foods will require more water and fuel to prepare – is this appropriate to your anticipated situation? Would you store foods for an emergency that you would not normally want to eat? Foods should be shelf stable and easy to prepare. Consider nutrient dense foods not empty calorie foods. When considering whole grains, seeds, legumes and beans don’t forget sprouting.

NOTE: Many newer food companies are promoting their pouched foods to have a 25 year plus shelf life – beware! Many of these food companies market their foods as “survival” foods – they are just that – eaten to survive only – their quality, packaging and shelf stability is questionable. Would you store foods for an emergency that you would not normally want to eat?

  • **Bars/energy bars/trail mix/food tablets
  • **Other eat-as-is simple and nutritional compact/nutritionally dense foods
  • **Freeze-dried/dehydrated from established companies in pouches, cans or bulk – numerous varieties available
  • Canned – wet pack
  • **Retort wet-pack pouches/trays/self-heating meals
  • **MRE’s (Meals-Ready-To-Eat) – military specs (These military designed rations were developed for troops to be eaten for no longer than one month at a time – they are not appropriate for exclusive long term consumption)
  • Boxed – eat as is/mixes/individual items
  • Baking soda (numerous uses)
  • Non-perishable basics
  • Powdered items – milk/cheese/whey/vegetables/fruits
  • Wild foods/foraging – get a good illustrated guide
  • Bulk commodities – Rice (brown rice has a short – 6 months – shelf life), grains, seeds, honey, beans (smaller grains and beans are good for sprouting and cook quicker with less water)
  • Bulk freeze-dried, dehydrated, air dried, instant, just-add-water, powders – fruits, vegetables, beans, pasta, oats
  • **Ready-to-eat comfort and nutritional foods
  • Garden seeds if appropriate – longer term scenarios – heirloom/organic (You will find many who promote storing garden seeds. You must research the shelf life, storage conditions and germination viability of the different varieties you are storing – they vary considerably.       Garden seeds alone are inadequate without tools, gardening knowledge, the ability to remain in place and of course water. In the long term emergency situation where survival depends on growing your own food, significant planning is vital.)
  • Supplements – vitamins/minerals/powdered green drinks/energy formulations
  • **Concentrated energy powders/bars/tablets
  • Condiments/seasoning blends/salt/coffee/tea/bullion/sweeteners (as natural as possible such as stevia and coconut sugar)
  • Gravy – dry mix or canned (can be added to bland foods for flavor)
  • Cooking oil (olive oil in a steel container has a decent shelf life – avoid hydrogenated oils containing trans-fat)
  • **Special needs foods – Those with food intolerance’s/nursing mothers/children/medical conditions
  • Baby foods
  • Red wine
  • Freeze-dried meats
  • Tuna fish in oil/sardines – high protein and long shelf life
  • **Cooking/heating required for the foods you have in your grab-and-go bag?
  1. Food Preparation

If you must relocate and plan on cooking or heating water, consider lighter weight and efficient equipment.

  • **Stove – camping/alternative/very portable/Kelly Kettle®
  • **Pots and pans – stainless steel/cast iron/non-stick – avoid aluminum
  • **Utensils
  • Pressure cooker
  • **Cookware kit
  • Grills
  • **Fuel – propane canisters/butane canisters/white gas/alcohol/wood/solid fuel cubes/charcoal/kerosene/lighter fluid
  • *Water/food bottle
  • *Hand operated can opener/opener on knife or multi-tool/P38 (for all of us military folks)
  • 5 or 6 gallon plastic buckets
  • FoodBricks™ – from WaterBrick™ company
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Chlorine bleach – non scented
  • *Plastic bags/containers
  • Cheese cloth
  • Thermos for “prepare in container” whole and cracked cereals (Add about a 1:1 ratio of boiling water and cereal –       mix in dried fruit, nuts and sweetener if desired – close container tight – let sit a few hours or overnight.)
  • Knife sharpener
  • “Package-you-own” equipment and supplies
  • Solar oven with cookware/GoSun Solar Stove/All American Sun Oven (both units will also purify water)
  • Manual grain mills/grinders/juicers/mixers/beaters
  • Sprouting equipment – portable and/or stationary/sprouting jars
  • Canning equipment if appropriate
  • Twist-ties
  • Corkscrew/bottle opener
  • Paper plates/bowls/cups/towels
  • Coffee filters – has multiple filtering uses
  • Small storage containers
  • Aluminum foil
  1. Fire Starter – Matches

Be prepared for any situation and the possible need to start a fire, especially if weather conditions are severe.

  • *Flint/magnesium starters
  • **Waterproof tinder/very fine steel wool/products designed to start fires in adverse conditions
  • **Windproof high quality lighters/disposable Bic type lighters
  • **Matches in a waterproof container/storm proof matches
  • Magnifying glass
  1. Medical

When your health and survival during a medical emergency is at stake, you don’t want to rely on cheap or inadequate medical supplies. This is an important category to thoughtfully evaluate. Don’t forget medications or products needed for those with special medical conditions.

  • *Quality kit with adequate components for a multitude of emergencies
  • *Accessories – dental emergencies/suture kit/snake bite kit – instructions/tweezers/safety razor blades/cotton balls/scissors/safety pins/tick removal
  • Syrup of Ipecac (to induce vomiting if poisoned)
  • *Essential prescription medications/allergy medications/birth control
  • *First Aid manual
  • *Insect repellant (non DEET recommended)
  • *Sunscreen/lip balm
  • *Eyeglasses/sunglasses/contacts/repair kit
  • *Copies of prescriptions
  • *Foot care/moleskin/blister pads
  • Aspirin/Tylenol/ibuprofen/other over the counter drugs for minor issues/antibiotics
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Colloidal Silver – internal/external – gel
  • Herbal kits/aloe vera
  • Dust masks/gas masks
  • Potassium Iodate (Iodate is recommended over Iodide)
  • Isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol
  • Anti-itch salve
  • Medications for head lice
  • Ear plugs (it could get noisy at night)
  • Quik Clot® (stops bleeding)
  • Baking soda/hydrogen peroxide
  • Tourniquet
  • Thermometer
  • Latex gloves/Nitrile – latex free gloves
  1. Personal Hygiene – Sanitary Supplies  

Depending on individual circumstances and your location, it is vital to prevent any problems that might arise from unsanitary conditions. Take precautions to ensure a disease free environment. The length of an emergency and living/camping conditions require different approaches to personal hygiene.

  • **Personal hygiene items – soap/toothbrush/toothpaste/shampoo/deodorant/hair brush/comb/dental floss (multiple uses)
  • **Feminine hygiene
  • **Treated towelettes/waterless wipes
  • **Sanitary toilet provisions – portable toilet/powered chlorinates or lime/disposable urinals – solid waste bags
  • *Plastic bags
  • Latex gloves/nitrile – latex free gloves
  • **Toilet Paper
  • Towels
  • Solar shower
  • *All purpose soap/cleaning agents
  • *Anti-bacterial sanitizer
  • Kleenex
  • *Nail clippers
  • Lime/disinfectant/bleach
  • Cloth diapers (multiple uses)
  • Small shovel
  1. Clothing

For warmth, comfort, and protection from insects and the elements.

  • *Proper and adequate clothing for the appropriate season and location
  • *Appropriate shoes/socks/boots/snow shoes/extra laces
  • *Rain gear/poncho/rubberized boots
  • *Cold weather gear – coats/layered clothing/thermal underwear
  • *Hat/gloves/bandana
  • Extra stuff sacks
  • Insect head net
  • Belts – regular/military type with small pouches
  1. Shelter – Warmth

For protection from insects and the elements, warmth, sleeping, comfort, privacy.

  • *Tarps
  • Plastic sheeting/large plastic trash bags
  • *Tent – *tube/*lightweight/regular
  • Shelter building material
  • Nylon patch repair kit/seam sealer
  • *Sleeping bag – *emergency/*lightweight/*bivy bag (small individual size tent/bag)/compact lightweight/regular down bag
  • Sleeping pad/cot/air mattress
  • Hammock
  • *Emergency blankets
  • Regular blankets
  • Sheets
  • Hand/body warmers
  • Insect netting
  • Extra stakes/rope/bungee cords
  • Umbrella

  10. Communication

It is essential to be kept informed during an emergency with friends, family, and appropriate governmental agencies and emergency organizations. When in an outdoor environment, unsettled weather considerations necessitate weather alert radios. Avoid a sense of isolation during serious emergencies.

  • *Radios – hand cranked/solar/batteries
  • Two-way radios
  • Short wave/CB (citizens band)/GMRS (general mobile radio service)/FRS (family radio service)/VHF (very high frequency) radios
  • Ham radio for radio amateurs – need license to transmit and/or radio with Ham frequencies for listening
  • Radios with NOAA (government agency) weather channels (7) and weather alerts if necessary in your area
  • *Cell phones/smart phones/charger
  • Satellite phones
  • *Whistle
  • *Signaling devices/flares/mirror
  • *Notebook/pen – regular & space pen that will write in any weather and position/markers/waterproof paper
  • PLB (personal locator beacon)
  • Small TV – battery/solar operated
  • Telephone not requiring external power
  • Morse code chart

11. Lighting

This is an essential category to address when anticipating any situation where you may be in darkness. Not only for a sense of security and comfort, but to be able to see clearly and act accordingly if emergencies happen in the dark.

  • *Flashlight – hand cranked/solar/batteries/LED and regular bulbs
  • *Lantern (*small or large size) – hand cranked/solar/batteries/propane/mantel/ candle/LED and regular bulbs
  • Oil lamps – kerosene/clear lamp oil/wicks
  • Strobe light
  • *Head Lamp
  • **Extra batteries/power source
  • **Candles
  • Extra mantels/extra propane canisters
  • Light sticks
  • Solar charger for charging rechargeable batteries

12. Tools – Instruments – Accessories

Numerous unforeseen situations or just routine conditions occur during an emergency or during an outdoor adventure. Be prepared and secure with the proper quality tool.

  • *Knife/knives/knife maintenance/sharpener
  • *Multi-tool/Swiss Army knife
  • *Navigation/compass/GPS device
  • Repair tools – hammer/screwdrivers/pliers/wire cutters/nails/screws/nuts & bolts/crowbar/spikes/pulley
  • Repair Kits
  • *Axe (*small or large)/saw (*hand controlled chain or special outdoor)/hacksaw/wood splitting/wedges
  • *Rope/wire/bungee cords/straps/paracord/heavy cordage/cable ties
  • *JB Weld/super adhesive/superglue/epoxy
  • Goo remover
  • Lubricating oil/WD-40®
  • Chain
  • Padlocks
  • *Work gloves
  • Shovel/multi-purpose folding shovel
  • Garden tools if appropriate
  • Fishing/hunting/trapping gear/Ronco Pocket Fisherman®/snare wire
  • *Duct tape/Hurricane tape/nylon repair tape/patches
  • *Plastic bags/trash bags/plastic sheeting
  • *Aluminum foil
  • *Sewing and repair supplies
  • Velcro
  • Safety goggles
  • Weather condition instruments/thermometer
  • *Watch – regular/multi-featured
  • Binoculars
  • Stuff bags for organizing
  • Scissors
  • Rubber bands
  • Small broom/rake
  • Buckets
  • Files
  • Clothes pins
  • Dust/gas masks
  • *Siphoning tube/hose
  • Hand pump
  • *Auto/bicycle/boat emergency items (keep in vehicle)
  • Can of red spray paint to indicate emergency information
  • Shut-off tool for gas/water supply
  • Tool for braking auto glass and cutting seat belts/webbing
  • Fuel – gasoline/diesel/kerosene/propane
  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Fire extinguisher

         13. Emergency Instructions – Guidance – Support – Back up – Personal Documents

Important and accurate information can not only be helpful it can be life saving. Researching reliable and trustworthy information sources is a vital component to preparedness and outdoor survival planning. Establishing family communication and reunion plans is also essential for security and peace of mind. Certain documents should always be available.

  • Books/*Bible/novels
  • Morale builders – personal items that help children and adults cope in stressful situations
  • *Medical information
  • *Emergency/survival information
  • *Manuals appropriate for equipment you have
  • *Maps
  • *Pen/magic marker/paper/chalk
  • *Compass
  • Edible wild foods publications/field guides
  • *Essential personal documents – photo ID/will/insurance/stocks/bonds/birth certificates/DD214/bank account & credit card numbers/family records/personal property inventory for insurance/deeds/pink slips/passports/ Social Security cards/check books/credit and debit cards/irreplaceable photographs and certificates – IN WATERPROOF CONTAINER
  • *Phone numbers and addresses of friends, relatives, and emergency organizations/agencies
  • *Spare keys
  • *Instructions on meeting and/or communicating with family and/or friends during or after an emergency
  • Duel language dictionary if appropriate
  • Solar calculator
  • Back-up computer discs/flash drives
  • Laptop/iPad/tablets/PDA’s/mp3-4 players
  • *Entertainment – music/instruments/cards/games

14. Power – Energy

A reliable power supply can be crucial in an emergency or for various outdoor recreational activities. Many valuable communication, radio, entertainment and lighting devices require power. Currently there are a number of dependable portable solar (large and small), storage, and hand operated units available to power your electronic devices.

  • *For power – a small portable solar charger for electronics and rechargeable batteries
  • For lighting
  • For radios
  • For electronic devices
  • For communication
  • *Hand cranked radios and lanterns with USB charger & power cords
  • Solar/storage/hand cranked power devices – fuel free portable power/small power packs
  • Solar panels
  • Generator – gas/propane/back up fuel
  • Appropriate linking cables
  • *Batteries of all sizes – alkaline/rechargeable
  • *Battery charger – wall/car/solar
  • Deep cycle battery
  • Inverter

15. Cash

It is impossible to know for certain what circumstances might exist during a serious emergency and for what duration normal financial activities will be disrupted. Access to electronic funds or use of credit cards may not be possible. Cash or barter may be the only means of paying for goods or services.

  • *Cash in smaller denomination bills
  • Gold/silver coins
  • Smaller items for barter
  • *Credit/debit cards

16. Personal Security

Each individual must decide the extent to which they will provide protection for themselves and their families from physical harm by others or wild animals. Don’t forget fire safety.

  • Weapons/ammunition/gun cleaning supplies/bow hunting supplies – If you have firearms make sure all those who might use them are properly trained
  • Tazer
  • Mace
  • Pepper Spray
  • Bear repellant
  • Sling shot
  • Clubs/bats
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Large dog

17. Special Needs

This category must not be overlooked if you, other family members, or friends have specials needs and require individual attention.

  • **Personal items specifically required by special needs individuals
  • **Medical items and prescriptions – consider having an adequate supply on hand in the event of a unforeseen and prolonged emergency
  • **Special foods or other items for children/elderly/disabled/nursing mothers
  • *Children’s items for comfort and a sense of security – blankets/dolls/toys/diapers/pacifiers
  • **Pet needs

18. Transportation Support

An often overlooked category, specific transportation support must be assessed especially for longer duration emergencies or for outdoor activities where the transportation devices are critical. Evaluate these options, determine which ones you will utilize, determine what you will need to ensure safety, comfort, repair potential, and adequacy to handle the transportation of your provisions.

  • Motor Vehicle – car/truck/van/RV/motorcycle/extra gas/repair and emergency equipment/trailer
  • Boat – motorized/sail/canoe/kayak/paddle/inflatable/folding
  • Scooter – gas/electric/solar
  • Bicycle – regular/folding – repair parts/tire pump – special towing cart/small gas engine
  • Horse
  • By foot
  • Wagon/garden cart/wheel barrow – for manual needs

Emergency Preparedness Items for Automobiles – Trucks – Vans – RV’s

These items are especially important for long trips, family outings, new younger drivers, inclement weather, remote areas and at night.

  • Spare tire
  • Jack with tire iron and supporting tools
  • Device to break window and cut seat belts from the inside in an emergency
  • Tire inflation device – portable power and/or aerosol can inflator/other tire repair materials
  • JB Weld®/super adhesive
  • Jumper cables
  • Portable power unit for jump starting and backup power
  • Tow cables/rope
  • Chains/cables/bungee cords for tightening
  • Crowbar
  • Reflectors/flares
  • Hidden spare key
  • Extra oil
  • Extra gas/funnel if appropriate
  • Siphon hose
  • Extra fan belts/bulbs/hoses/additives/sealers/hard to get parts/repair kit
  • Window scraper
  • Important phone numbers/documents/insurance information
  • GPS device if appropriate
  • Empty gas can
  • Material to gain traction if stuck in snow or ice – cat liter/sand/wood shavings/old rug

Additional critical items from the above Essential Checklist to carry in your vehicle:

  • Tarps
  • Blankets/emergency sleeping bag
  • First Aid kit
  • Baby supplies
  • Food and water/water purification/containers if appropriate
  • Maps
  • Pen/magic marker/paper
  • Personal documents and photo ID/registration/insurance
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Rope/wire
  • Repair tools
  • Plastic bags large and small
  • Cell phone/smart phone/charger
  • Emergency radio/hand crank radio
  • Emergency lighting
  • Rope/wire/bungees
  • Small solar/12 volt power packs for small electronics
  • Cash/credit card
  • Extra clothing in harsh and/or wet weather/hat
  • Hand/body warmers
  • Rain gear/rubber boots/poncho
  • Knife/multi-tool
  • Whistle
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Shovel
  • Small fire extinguisher
  • Matches/fire starter
  • Extra batteries
  • Personal protection devices or items as appropriate/pepper spray                                                                                                                                      
  • Refer to the Essential Checklist for other items relevant to your vehicles specific needs.

Reproduction of this important Checklist for other media is granted if Denis Korn and Learn To Prepare is appropriately credited

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Family Emergency Planning!

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Family Emergency Planning Forrest Garvin “The Prepping Academy” In today’s world we are always connected. Cell phones, computers, and social media are almost always within our reach. This ease of access also comes with ease of mind. With a few swipes you can see where your children, wife, and even friends are. It’s not hard … Continue reading Family Emergency Planning!

The post Family Emergency Planning! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

The Essential Elements of Preparedness

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By Denis Korn

There is an extraordinary fixation in our current culture with all the trappings of physical survival – given the perception of imminent collapse, chaos and oppression.  The degree of hysteria and response to this phenomena is unprecedented in the 41 years I have been in the preparedness industry.  I am not a prophet – just an experienced observer of the times and peoples reaction to the radical shifts taking place in our society.  The events that will unfold in the very near future may be catastrophic as many believe or just extremely uncomfortable – we shall soon find out.  It is my belief that the most essential and foundational elements of preparedness are attitude, critical thinking, knowledge, trust in God, appropriate emotion and spiritual awareness.

The heightened sensitivity to the uncertainty of these times has obviously motivated many to a preparedness/survival mindset.  While so many folks writing articles and blogs are focusing on the myriad of aspects of physical readiness, and a boatload of preparedness/survival websites and advertisers are intensely promoting all the stuff required to survive, I feel the most important elements of preparedness/survival are often overlooked.  This brings our attention to the spiritual and emotional components of preparedness.

In a previous post I talked about Normalcy Bias – the mental state by which people cling to perceptions that are familiar and comfortable – and because of this state they can be in denial of the reality of the circumstances around them.  In some situations and contexts Normalcy Bias may be appropriate; however, in planning for emergencies denying the truth can be disastrous and often deadly.

In the 7 years of posting articles on this site, one of the most popular posts has been Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions for Reflection.  While I believe that developing critical thinking skills is essential in all aspects of our life, it is especially important when you are evaluating and determining sources and provisions for emergency and disaster preparedness.  Your comfort, health and survival depend on appropriate, sensible and accurate decisions.  The correct and proper decision making process relies on essential critical thinking skills.  Knowledge and discernment competency are vital to the emergency preparedness process.

What is Critical Thinking?

“Critical thinking is the careful, deliberate determination of whether we should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim – and of the degree of confidence with which we accept or reject it.  The ability to think critically is vitally important; in fact, our lives depend on it.  The way we conduct our lives depends on what we believe to be true – on what claims we accept  The more carefully we evaluate a claim and the more fully we separate issues that are relevant to it from those that are not, the more critical is our thinking.”

“We do not do our critical thinking in a vacuum, of course.  When we are confronted with a claim, usually we already have a certain amount of information relevant to the topic, and we can generally figure out where to find more if we need it.  Having both the desire and the ability to bring such information to bear on our decisions is part of the critical-thinking process.  Critical thinking involves a lot of skills, including the abilities to listen and read carefully, to evaluate arguments, to look for and find hidden assumptions, and to trace consequences of a claim.” (From Critical Thinking, Sixth Edition – Brooke Noel Moore, PhD & Richard Parker, PhD)

After acknowledging that there are mental states and attitudes (see Attitude is a Decision) that are necessary to properly plan for emergencies and catastrophes, I want to address the emotional and spiritual aspects of emergency and disaster planning.  Most of the information, guidelines, lists and resources for preparedness focus exclusively on the physical “stuff” required to be adequately prepared for an emergency.  While this is obviously important, it is only one component in the preparedness process when looked at from a holistic perspective.

What is emotion? The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives us this definition:

2 a : the effective aspect of consciousness  : FEELING  b : a state of feeling  c : a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.

This is very pertinent as you engage in planning for emergencies.  The relevant point here is that the preparedness planner experiences a conscious mental reaction experienced as a strong feeling that is accompanied by a behavioral change.  While this appears rather self-evident, it must be pointed out that the emergency planner must be aware of their feelings and behavior and its impact on the decisions made on the physical component of the process.

What are the effects of one’s emotional condition and the correctness of their actions? I have talked with many folks about this issue and have seen and heard of the unfortunate results of decisions made that were a result of not being conscience of the influence of their emotional state.  Understanding the power of one’s emotions and acting responsibly can have a positive impact on taking correct action – losing control of one’s emotions and behavior can be destructive.

As I have discussed so often while teaching Critical Thinking in the college classroom, people habitually react to a challenging situation rather than critically evaluate and reflect appropriately.  The quality and effectiveness of their decisions is often significantly compromised.  Essential attributes in the preparedness planning process are DISCERNMENT AND INFORMED JUDGMENT!

What is the spiritual component? The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives us this definition of spiritual:

1 : of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit  : INCORPOREAL  [spiritual needs]   2 a : of or relating to sacred matters  [spiritual songs]  b : ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal  [spiritual authority]  [lords spiritual]   3 : concerned with religious values  4 : related or joined in spirit  [our spiritual home]  [his spiritual heir]   5 a : of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena  b : of, relating to, or involving spiritualism

For many the spiritual factor is the most important facet of preparedness and the point from which one begins the preparedness process.  One’s spiritual faith and belief forms the foundation for action.  Reliance on God in the decision making process is primary – trust in God’s guidance in making one’s decisions is fundamental and essential.

So why is Self-Reliance idolatry?

It is the worship of the “stuff” of self-reliance and the worship of “self” as the primary focus of the actions taken. We have placed our stuff and ourselves as the object of primary worship and reliance. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the ultimate reliance is on God. While we have a duty to be prepared, we are commanded not to idolize and exalt our provisions and personal position in the preparedness process above absolute reliance on God. During a serious disaster when emotions are intense and fear rules one’s reactions, it is a challenge to rely on a higher power for the supreme guidance and insight on the actions to take.  It is not only a challenge, it is a necessity to rely on the greatest ally you can have – Divine guidance.  Where does your faith reside – in the Divine or in the human condition?

While I recommend and encourage taking effective physical action to provide the essential provisions, I have been explicit in my teachings that one’s attitude is essential in overcoming and surviving a serious catastrophe. This requires embodying the attitude of God-Reliance first – follow His instructions, assurance and power before we rely only on our self.  Self-reliance without God-reliance is what I refer to as “The Idolatry of Self-Reliance.”

I am well aware of the difficulty and struggle involved in understanding, expressing and putting into action the balance between reliance on God and reliance on ourselves – both are essential! This requires prayer, serious reflection, critical thinking and common sense – as does all aspects of effective emergency planning.

I believe the spiritual component encompasses the following aspects:

  • The ultimate outcome of the emergency scenario is in God’s hands
  • In a mysterious way God directs the process
  • We often focus our most important priorities in the wrong direction
  • The purpose of the disaster or catastrophe is of a spiritual nature
  • The difficulties and suffering in a disaster affords one the opportunity to choose to come closer to and rely upon God
  • One’s faith and trust in God is tested, and gives one a chance to assess their relationship with the Divine
  • We are not to rely on our own understanding
  • We are not to cling to the notion that our material possessions are the most important factors in our lives
  • The importance of earnest prayer is profoundly evident
  • Catastrophic events are a result of spiritual warfare of which we have no control
  • We are to love, support, assist, provide for, console, teach and inspire our family, neighbors, friends and strangers during the most trying of times
  • We are being required to ask – and answer: What are the fundamental truths I must learn, and who do I  truly trust during trials and tribulation?
  • Why are you being called to prepare and for what purpose?

To believe that being prepared is just a matter of having all the right provisions safely stored away is, in my opinion, overlooking the most important factors in survival, resiliency and effective preparedness.  We must not get caught up in the perverting media frenzy of perpetuating fear and anxiety to such an extent that clear thinking is obliterated.  Successful preparedness – and daily living for that matter – is a balance of physical, emotional and spiritual elements.

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Beginning & Improving Preparedness Planning

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By Denis Korn

 

It is time once again to evaluate one of the Foundational Articles.  I have presented here a simple and concise guide to the preparedness process.  Your are encouraged to treat this information seriously!  You are also invited to read other articles and posts that go into detail regarding various facets of preparedness.

If you are a newcomer to preparedness planning or have been engaged for some time, the information and suggestions contained in this article will certainly help you begin or add to your experience of confidence and peace of mind, and assist you with practical steps you can take.

The first step in the preparedness planning process is the acknowledgment that you have made a wise and sound decision and have chosen to take responsibility for you and your family, and to be prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  Be encouraged to continue this process with diligence, motivation, and discernment.

It is my intention in this article to present a guideline that can be followed which will lead you on an important journey to being prepared in the event of any number of potentially unexpected events.  This process is basically undertaken in three phases – each one of which will take as much time as you wish to devote, and the degree of urgency you are experiencing.

  1. First, there is an initial assessment necessary to determine the direction you are heading.
  2. Second, there is further evaluation, research, and planning required to develop a firm foundation for the third phase, and to develop the clarity required for appropriate and accurate decision making.
  3. Third, there is taking action and assembling the appropriate provisions and critical information you have determined are necessary for your security and peace of mind.  This phase is ongoing as you continue to evaluate, research, and build up your supplies and information.

The initial assessment

This consists of 6 basic questions that you are encouraged to answer that will lead you along the matrix to your destination:

  1. What is your attitude concerning emergency preparedness?
  2. What are the circumstances or scenarios and their severity you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  3. What is the length of time you will be affected during these scenarios that you will be required to rely on your preparedness supplies?
  4. For whom and how many are you preparing?
  5. Where will you be?
  6. How serious are you and how much time, effort, and money are you willing to devote to research, planning, and action, and with what help?

Elaborating on these 6 questions

Attitude – Are you positive, fearful, confused?  A proper attitude during the preparedness planning process is essential and it is made more effective by exercising competent critical thinking and discernment skills. Reacting from fear or confusion can be an obstacle to efficient planning.

Scenarios – At the end of this article is a list of potential scenarios and circumstances that will help you answer this question.  The events range from mild to catastrophic, and fall generally into 3 categories: acts of God that tend to be local or regional; man-made that tend to be national; and momentous earth changes that tend to be national or worldwide.

Time – Your time frames can be as little as 3 days, which provide only a brief period of inconvenience, or as much as 1 year or more (I know of groups preparing for 7 years), that require a significant change of attitude and lifestyle.  Also, at the end of this article, is a listing of various time frames and comments.

Who – Suggestions include, an individual, family, friends, neighborhood, organization, company, club, or church or temple.

Where – How you answer the “Who” question will effect the answer to this question.  In addition consider whether a vacation/retreat location is applicable and whether there are multiple potential locations to take into account.  Also, if you need to be mobile, what transportation options are available or required?

Seriousness – This question requires your honesty not just wishful thinking.  Your level of commitment is important to the planning process, especially when it comes down to a financial commitment.  Also, be honest about what you really know about emergency preparedness planning.  Don’t be afraid to do serious research and seek true expect opinion and perspective.  Initial or additional knowledge is extremely important – and it might save your health or life.

After you finish this initial assessment, I strongly suggest that you refer to and continue to answer the more detailed questions in the article titled The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning. This will move you into the second phase of the planning process, and assist you in evaluation and research.  The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning is an expansion of the 6 initial questions, and offers more focused and detailed questions to help guide you along.

Another important article, with specific tips and vital information on food and water, and with some similar questions to other articles, is The Essential Emergency Planning Guide for Food and Water. Here is an excerpt from that article from the Where to Start section.

    • Clearly answer the key questions given in the next “Important Issues” section.
    • Determine a realistic response for your unique economic and personal situation. Be careful to avoid reacting to and with the actions of others without first determining if these actions are appropriate for you. Don’t get caught up in a “feeding frenzy” of buying.
    • Create an appropriate step by step plan of action on paper– sooner rather than later.
    • Continue to educate yourself using the vast resources of reliable information. Note: There are those with limited experience and knowledge who have suddenly appeared in the marketplace to take advantage of the situation. Buyer beware!
    • Assemble a library, data files, and Internet bookmarks; subscribe to related magazines, get tapes.
    • Go to conferences, workshops, and church meetings and talk to responsible leaders who have researched the issues you are concerned about.
    • Make a list of items you will need during your anticipated emergency situation. Prioritize it. Determine what you have on hand, and begin to fill your list.
    • Create lists for differing locations, such as home, car, RV, or work.
    • Prepare an area where you live to store your supplies.
    • Make daily life in an emergency situation real to yourself and your family- Turn off your electricity, gas, water and phone for 3 days, and don’t count on any local stores or services. Don’t wait for a sunny, warm day to try this- emergencies can happen in the winter!
    • Think quality- as if your comfort and life depended on it! You must discern between economy and reliability. All too often the cheapest is the least dependable; especially in an emergency situation, and even more so if the emergency is long term.

As you reflect upon and answer the questions in phase 1 and 2, you may choose to wait until you feel confident about the next phase – action – or you may begin (or perhaps you have already began) to gather your supplies.

Summary of Action Steps

  • Answer the 6 questions in the initial assessment.
  • Answer all the questions in The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning.
  • Write down – on paper – the answer to as many of these questions as you feel are necessary to formulate a written preparedness plan.
  • Write down and complete any lists, inventories, important points, insights you have received, or anything else suggested or inferred in the articles that will help in your preparedness planning.
  • Distribute and discuss your easily understood and complete preparedness plan to your family, company, or group.
  • Discuss and request feedback about your plans and supplies with others, as you feel appropriate – friends, experts, suppliers.
  • Continue doing research and evaluation.
  • Create an appropriate place to store supplies.
  • Add to, or begin accumulating and organizing, your provisions.
  • Experiment with the items you have.  Know how to use them – or in the case of food – know how to prepare them and what they taste like (especially if they are unfamiliar).  Emergencies are not the time for surprises.
  • Pray – if you are a religious or spiritually committed individual or family this would be the most important action to continually practice.

Additional tips to consider in the preparedness planning process

Many folks are reluctant to plan ahead, or they assume that the government or others will take care of them, or they are just too busy, or they just don’t think it is necessary.  As an option to doing nothing or to enhance some other level of preparedness planning you have chosen, consider the following:

As you reflect on the scenarios that you presume might occur, think about the concept of a “triggering event.”  Ask yourself, what are the triggering events that will motivate me to immediate action?  What triggering event will launch the imminent arrival of the scenario I have presumed might occur?  If you have created a list of triggering events, you will be on the look out for possible immediate action.  While it is always desirable to plan ahead and have provisions in place, it is better to react at the last minute than not at all.  Obviously some scenarios may offer some prior indications, such as hurricanes, storms, or economic/political issues; while others can occur without warning (see the list of scenarios).  You are responsible – you must choose to act or not.

After you have evaluated the questions and points in this article, a helpful point of view may be the idea of an “extended pantry program,” or what might be considered as a building and expansion of your normal food usage and supplies. Start with a program that is compatible with your needs, assumptions, circumstances, and finances. You may want to start small and keep building.

Scenarios

Scenario Scenario Scenario
Acts of God Man Made Earth Changes
Local – Regional Regional – National National – Worldwide
Earthquake Government regulation/control Catastrophic Weather
Flood Martial Law Asteroid/Comet
Fire Food Shortages Pole Shift
Hurricane Societal Breakdown Solar Flare – CME
Storm/Ice/Snow Civil Disobedience/Riots Tribulation/Religious
Tornado Medical Emergency Severe Earth Changes
Drought Economic Emergency/Collapse Planet X
Power Outage Major Accident
Mud Slide Terrorism Attack
Tsunami Biological/Chemical/Radiological Attack
EMP – Electrical Magnetic Pulse Attack
PERSONAL ISSUES Bombing
Job Loss War
Illness Cyber Attack – No internet
Emergencies Water Source Contamination
Financial Loss

Time Frames

3 Days to 2 Weeks

Minor to moderate inconvenience and disruption of the daily routine.  Basic supplies in the first 3 days would be valuable for comfort but not essential.  An adequate amount of basic supplies after 3 days are important.

3 Weeks to 2 Months

The inconvenience is very noticeable and the routine disruption can be significant.  Supplies required may or may not be on hand, and stockpiling some supplies will be very important.

3 Months to 6 Months

Preparedness planning is very important and a serious disruption to the daily routine is inevitable.  Mobility and location to wait out the emergency is important in your planning.  Proper supplies will be critical.  Medical and other special needs must be planned for in advance.

6 Months to 1 Year

Unless you are very prepared and are committed to self-reliance, in this time frame your lifestyle will definitely be impacted.  Serious attention to your preparedness planning is required.  The questions covered in the foundational articles must be answered and a realistic plan created.  Action and provisions are essential.  You will be dealing with serious issues during this time period, and you must be prepared.

1 Year or More

Scenarios actualized in this time frame are the most serious and catastrophic, and will require a serious commitment to lifestyle changes.  You will be dealing with national and worldwide calamity.  The extent of the impact on everyone’s life can not be over emphasized.  Significant and detailed planning is required, and even with this an emergency situation of this duration will be wrought with uncertainty.  This will be a time for community togetherness, sharing, and mutual support.  Skills not normally possessed by folks will be required.  Gardening and other self-reliant skills will be essential.  Books, tools, and other valuable resources will be vital.

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4 Emergency Preparation Tips to Review With Your Family

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4 Emergency Preparation Tips When you prepare for a potential disaster, it’s hard to know what to share with your kids and what to keep to yourself. You don’t want to worry them, but at the same time, if an emergency arises, you want to know that your kids know what to do. These four […]

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12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

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By Denis Korn                                                12-questions

Of the 15 Foundational Articles on the right hand column of this blog, I believe this to be the primary foundational article required for effective and thorough preparedness planning. 

It is featured this month for those who may not be familiar with these essential questions, or who need to be reminded of the substance and basis of effective preparedness planning.

These 12 crucial questions of preparedness planning are a result of an ongoing expansion and modification of questions given in The Essential Emergency Planning Guide for Food and Water.  They apply to any preparedness planning scenario you believe to be appropriate.  Answer them carefully – your safety, health (emotional and physical), peace of mind, and comfort depend on it.

Preparedness planning is fundamentally built on two principles – (1) developing a philosophical or personal worldview while evaluating and assessing the current state of affairs – (2) then developing a specific plan of action based upon your reflective conclusions, needs, and the physical conditions that you anticipate can occur.

Thank you for having made a wise and sound decision to take responsibility for you and your family to be prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  A proper attitude during the preparedness planning process is essential, and it is made more effective by exercising competent critical thinking skills. Reacting from a position of fear or confusion can be an obstacle to efficient planning.  Please remember, when it comes to seeking reliable information and essential provisions for nourishment, health, and safety – ask: Who do you trust? and Why?

As you evaluate your answers to the following crucial questions and the circumstances for which you are preparing, there is another underlying issue to consider when considering provisions – cost verses quality.  Are the equipment and supplies necessary to fulfill your needs going to be based on how cheap they are , or on the quality, value, and reliability of the product?  What are the repercussions or benefits from the choices that are made?  Who is affected?  What chances are you willing to take with inferior and inadequate provisions?  Answer these questions carefully – your safety, health (emotional and physical), peace of mind and comfort depend on it.

Food issues and questions are of special importance to me personally – since I have been providing, developing, and promoting quality food reserves for over 40 years.  When purchasing food provisions, especially pre-configured assortments, it is essential to know exactly the quantity of food you are getting for the price you are paying.  “X” amount of servings, or “X month’s supply” doesn’t give you the accurate information you need for proper planning.  You need to know the answer to these questions: What is the basis for the manufacturer’s claims?  What is the nutritional value, quantity, and quality of food and the caloric value of each serving?  “X” months gives me how many calories per day, and of what quality and nutritional value are the foods?  Beware of companies claiming “freeze-dried” with little to no freeze-dried ingredients used in meal formulations.  The most obvious RED FLAG are claims of a 25 year shelf life for foods packed in pouches.  This is a suspicious marketing deception and companies advertising these excessive shelf life pouched foods are to be considered highly questionable.

It always has been and always will be the policy of Learn To Prepare and PrepareDirect to provide products, information, perspectives, insights, and recommendations for action with an attitude of helpfulness and respect for an individual’s choice based on evaluation and thoughtful judgment.  Be conscientious and diligent in your planning, and demand truthfulness and accuracy from your suppliers.  You evaluate – you choose – you own your decisions.  If you need help, contact us at PrepareDirect/Learn To Prepare.

The Questions

  1. What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies? (This is not only the most important and first question to answer, it is often the question most overlooked, or not considered critically enough).  What will be the severity and impact of those circumstances on your life?  Given your potential scenarios, how thoroughly have you researched the available options for food, water, medical, shelter, hygiene, and other categories of critical supplies?  Are you prepared for emergencies during all seasons of the year?  Is your family more susceptible to certain emergencies?  How would your scenarios impact you or your family’s daily routine?  Work or livelihood?  How will you protect yourself and family against those who might do you harm?  The grid is essential to most homes and businesses – if it is down, how long could you function?  What would society look like without the grid, and a prolonged cessation of the availability of vital goods and services?  Do you have back up power?
  2. How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing? This is another critical question, and while it is difficult to envision the difficult details that might occur, the adequacy of your preparedness planning and supplies is directly tied to honestly answering this question.  Needless to say, the longer the duration of the emergency the more effect it will have on multiple aspects of one’s daily routine and lifestyle, and the need to be focused on the diversity of situations that will surround you.
  3. What attitude are you willing to embody and express during the uncertainty and stress of the emergency scenarios you have determined may exist?  An appropriate attitude is essential to survival and effective functioning during a serious emergency or disaster. Your emotional and spiritual viewpoint is the foundational component of any emergency circumstance. The longer the emergency the greater degree of stress, which will affect your well-being. Do you believe it is essential for you and your family to incorporate the proper emotional and spiritual attitude in your preparedness planning? Do you have a biblical worldview regarding trials and tribulations?  Who do you ultimately rely on for comfort, strength and hope?  Where is your faith?
  4. What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing? How about the knowledge of family or friends?  What informational resources and references – books and other tangible items – do you personally have or have access to?
  5. During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends? This includes not only information and education, but also essentials such as food, water, shelter, energy, communication, and medical supplies.  What utilities in your area are vulnerable to disruption or elimination?  What will you do to compensate for the loss of electricity, water, gas, or phone service?
  6. Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur? Are your neighbors or friends stocking up on enough supplies for you also?  Do you honestly believe some level of government will be there to assist and resolve the situation?  Do you have a community support network available?  What skills and knowledge do you possess that you can contribute?  How many people are you planning to provide with emergency provisions? Extended family?  Friends?  Church members?  Community?
  7. Do you have a list of essential supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency? Is it prioritized?  Do you have a list of the essential categories your supplies fall under? What do you have on hand now?  Are you actively storing provisions?  If not – why not?
  8. Do you have an understanding of the financial implications of your projected emergency scenarios? This includes the costs of preparation, other financial obligations that might occur during and after the emergency, and understanding the choices needing to be made to adequately be prepared.  For most folks it will be necessary to honestly assess the personal and family financial priorities in the preparedness process.  Do you keep enough cash or items for barter on hand for unforeseen emergencies?  Do you have back up hard copies of essential financial documents?
  9. What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely? This especially includes medical issues, nutritional requirements, and physical and emotional limitations.  What psychological, social, medical, or unique factors could potentially arise from a long-term (6 months or more) catastrophic event?  Also consider your personal, family, work, and community needs for timely communication during an emergency.  Are any pets involved in your planning?  Have you had a family, company, or group meeting to directly and honestly discuss what actions are to be implemented during an emergency of the type you determined might occur?  For many individuals and families the religious or spiritual factor in preparedness planning and implementation – especially during a serious or catastrophic event – is the most important.  If this applies to you, make sure all family members and friends are in prayer.
  10. In your expected emergency scenarios will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate? This could include different responses depending on your predictions of the duration and severity of the emergency.  Are you aware of all the implications and planning required depending upon your answer to this question?  This is another one those very difficult questions to fully comprehend, because not only can there be many perspectives to consider, being prepared to be mobile and leave an established residence or homestead requires a whole different set of planning points.  If you had to evacuate or relocate right now, where would you go?  With prior planning where would you prefer to go?  Do you have a bug-out or grab-and-go bag/device?  Do you think you need one?  If you do have one, is it adequately supplied with essential provisions?  Do you know how to use the items it contains?  If you have to carry it – can you?
  11. What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate? This includes both two-way communication with others, including family, friends and associates, and one-way communication from radio stations, emergency broadcasts, or individuals via short wave.  Do you have a cell phone?  Will towers be functioning?  Land lines?  Internet?  Hand held walkie-talkies?  Satellite phone?  Short wave radios?  Citizens band radios?  Emergency and/or ham radios with two-way communication capability?  During a serious emergency accurate information and updates are essential for survival.  What if an EMP (electro-magnetic-pulse) from a solar flare or nuclear device renders all unprotected electronics useless?  How will this effect communication equipment you are relying upon?
  12. In your expected emergency scenarios what transportation options will be necessary and available? Needing to be mobile requires serious planning and so does remaining in place if your anticipated scenario lasts for a long duration and you need to travel within your area.  What vehicles are available?  What fuels do they need to operate?  What do you have on hand?  If you must relocate, how much space and weight is needed to transport your supplies?  Do you have a bicycle?  Small solar or gas scooter?  Adequate foot gear?  A horse?  What if the emergency is in the winter – a harsh winter?  What if an EMP (electro-magnetic-pulse) from a solar flare or nuclear device renders all unprotected electronics useless?  How will this effect vehicles you are relying upon?

Proper preparedness planning requires a serious commitment – your life or health and the life and health of your family may depend upon it!

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Critical Questions and Essential Information About Bug-Out-Bags and Vehicle Preparedness

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By Denis Korn                                                                                                    Franklin quote

This post – Critical Questions and Essential Information About Bug-Out-Bags and Vehicle Preparedness – is a valuable companion to the post Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning – Including Vehicle Preparedness – Latest Update.  You are encouraged to share this post and its vital information with family, friends, business associates, church and temple congregations and other members of any organizations to which you belong.  May this post help you in your serious preparedness planning.  Celebrate Peace of Mind!

Here are the crucial questions to answer when assembling your emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag – which is vital if you must leave your home or business quickly.

  • If an evacuation has been declared, a severe weather event is imminent or a significant disaster has occurred, how will I know?
  • If I have to evacuate, will I be in a cozy government evacuation center with food, water, blankets and a bed, or will I be on my own in the elements, a crude shelter or a friend’s/relatives house?
  • If specific government, church, community and friend’s sheltering options are not available, where do I go? How far? How do I get there?
  • What conditions can I expect to encounter – best scenario – worst scenario?
  • What are the weather conditions I am likely to encounter? What is the season?
  • Will I be alone, or are others depending on me? Family – children – elderly – pets?
  • Am I dependent on others? Who? Why? Do I expect the government to take care of me?
  • What kind of support is likely to be available?
  • How long should I prepare for?
  • What if there is nothing left when I return?
  • Are my essentials, heirlooms, personal treasures, irreplaceable photographs, documents and financial assets secure if I leave with only my grab-and-go bag?
  • Do I have a reliable communication plan to contact family, friends and business associates at a moment’s notice?
  • What is the potential severity of the emergency I might experience?
  • Will I have transportation, or will I be on foot?
  • Do I have enough money on hand to pay for possible shelter, food or supplies if I am suddenly evacuated and away from home or business?
  • Am I truly prepared for the unexpected, a procrastinator or am I in denial?

To have a truly adequate emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag the above questions must be answered. Your personal preparedness bag contents will vary depending on numerous factors such as time, number of persons, locations involved, mobility, support available, season, comfort level desired and the degree of peace of mind you want.

Here is a list of the basic essentials for every kit. Each category will have multiple options depending on how you answer the above crucial questions. Cheap, inadequate and poorly made provisions don’t belong in a quality kit. Prepare your kit as if your and your family’s life and comfort depended on it – because it does!

  1. Water – bottled/filters/purifiers/tablets/containers
  2. Food – ready-to-eat/bars/trail mix/freeze dried/shelf stable/food preparation equipment
  3. Medical – quality medical kit with instructions/prescriptions/glasses/essential medications/sunscreen/dental medic/foot care/safety pins/dust mask/gas mask
  4. Special Needs – food/medical/children/elderly/disabled/pets
  5. Tools – multi-tool/knife/wire/cable ties/duct tape/rope/paracord/gloves/small axe/repair tools/super glue/aluminum foil/ /manual can opener (often on multi-tool)/bungee cords/foldable or wire saw
  6. Communication – radio/hand crank – solar – battery/two-way radios/cell phone
  7. Fire – fire starter/lighter/matches/tinder/flint starter/magnifying glass
  8. Signaling & Orienting – whistle/signal mirror/compass/maps/GPS device
  9. Lighting – Hand crank – solar – battery/headlamp/flashlight/lantern/candles/lightsticks
  10. Power & Energy – batteries – regular and rechargeable/power-pack for batteries & cell phone recharged by solar and/or hand crank/solar and/or hand crank that charges devices directly
  11. Shelter – tarp/tent – tube or larger/plastic sheeting/insect protection
  12. Emergency Blankets/sleeping bags – emergency or larger or bivy sack
  13. Personal Hygiene/sanitary supplies/disinfectant
  14. Plastic Bags/ties
  15. Personal Security – weapon & ammo if appropriate/pepper spray/bear repellant/mace or other options
  16. Appropriate Clothing and Footwear – protection from the elements/apparel for warmth/heat packs – hand and body warmers
  17. Identification and Essential Documents – Bible/compact survival handbook/personal ID/insurance and other key documents/entertainment
  18. Spare Keys
  19. Phone Numbers and Addresses – friends, relatives, and emergency organizations/agencies
  20. Instructions on meeting and/or communicating with family and/or friends during or after an emergency
  21. Cash/credit cards
  22. Pen/markers/paper
  23. Configured Compact Emergency Kit with Essential Items
  24. Carrying Device – carry bag/backpack/suitcase/sturdy container/Food & Supply Brick™/duffel Bag (very durable and if you anticipate carrying your bag any distance shoulder straps should be available with your carry bag or duffel)

If time permits, take irreplaceable items such as heirlooms, heirloom jewelry, photographs, military/marriage/birth/deed records, computers, tablets, and personal contact information and documents not included in your grab-and-go device.

Water
An obvious necessity for everyone. Know what water sources are available to you during an emergency, or in the outdoors. Plan accordingly and don’t hold back preparing for this essential category.

Determine whether or not you want to purify water for viruses.  Not all water filters are designed for this purpose – look for water purifiers that specifically state that they will kill viruses.

Food
Numerous options are available. This category must be accessed carefully and the quality and quantity of foods chosen should be appropriate to the anticipated length of time of the emergency or outing, and severity of circumstances you anticipate might occur.  For shorter term scenarios foods in most situations should be nutritious and ready-to-eat; however you might want to consider some foods requiring only the addition of cold or hot water.  If you do need hot water you must plan for the appropriate means and equipment to heat your water.  Options listed have a longer shelf life and are suitably packaged for kits or backpacks.

Medical
When your health and survival during a medical emergency is at stake, you don’t want to rely on cheap or inadequate medical supplies. This is an important category to thoughtfully evaluate. Don’t forget medications or products needed for those with special medical conditions.  If your pre-assembled kit doesn’t include one, make sure you get a good book on medical emergencies.

Shelter/warmth
Protection from the elements and insects is essential, especially in a harsh climate.

Tools
Numerous unforeseen situations or just routine conditions occur during an emergency or during an outdoor adventure. Be prepared and secure with the proper quality tool.

Communication/Signaling
It is important to keep informed during an emergency with friends, family, and appropriate governmental agencies and emergency organizations. When in an outdoor environment, unsettled weather considerations necessitate weather alert radios. Avoid a sense of isolation during serious emergencies.  If you get lost or are separated from your group signaling can be crucial.  Since electronic items are included in this category, you may want to consider a small solar power device.

Lighting
This is an essential category to address when anticipating any situation where you may be in darkness. Not only for a sense of security and comfort, but to be able to see clearly and act accordingly if emergencies occur in the dark.

Personal protection
For some this may not be an essential basic category.  Each individual must decide the extent to which they will or will not provide protection for themselves and their families from physical harm by others or wild animals.

This article provides a very basic list of suggested items we believe are essential for emergency preparedness and outdoor recreation; especially if space, weight, and mobility are important.  For an expanded list of suggestions read our article: Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning Including Vehicle Preparedness

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Here are suggestions for your vehicle emergency kit from my article: Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning Including Vehicle Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness Items for Automobiles – Trucks – Vans – RV’s

These items are especially important for long trips, family outings, new younger drivers, inclement weather, remote areas and at night.

AS A FATHER OF 3 DAUGHTERS AND 3 GRANDDAUGHTERS, I  HIGHLY ENCOURAGE FATHERS AND MOTHERS TO ENSURE YOUR CHILDREN ARE SECURE AND PREPARED THIS WINTER WHEN THEY ARE DRIVING!

 

  • Cell phone/smart phone/charger
  • Spare tire
  • Jack with tire iron and supporting tools
  • Tire inflation device – portable power and/or aerosol can inflator (for use only in an emergency as it will void the warrantee)
  • JB Weld/super adhesive
  • Jumper cables
  • Portable power unit for jump starting
  • Chains/cables/bungee cords for tightening
  • Crowbar
  • Reflectors/flares
  • Hidden spare key
  • Device to break window and cut seat-belts from the inside in an emergency
  • Extra oil
  • Extra gas/funnel if appropriate
  • Siphon hose
  • Extra fan belts/bulbs/hoses/additives/sealers/hard to get parts
  • Window scraper
  • Important phone numbers/documents/insurance information
  • GPS device if appropriate

Additional critical items from the Essential Checklist to carry in your vehicle:

  • Tarps
  • Blankets/emergency sleeping bag
  • First Aid kit
  • Baby supplies
  • Food and water/water purification/containers if appropriate
  • Maps
  • Personal documents and photo ID
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Rope/wire
  • Repair tools
  • Plastic bags large and small
  • Emergency radio/hank crank radio
  • Emergency lighting
  • Rope/wire/bungees
  • Small solar/12 volt power packs for small electronics
  • Cash/credit card
  • Extra clothing in harsh and/or wet weather/hat
  • Hand/body warmers
  • Rain gear/rubber boots
  • Knife/multi-tool
  • Whistle
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Shovel
  • Small fire extinguisher
  • Matches/fire starter
  • Extra Batteries
  • Personal protection devices or items as appropriate/pepper spray

Check the “Essential Checklist” for other items relevant to your needs.

The post Critical Questions and Essential Information About Bug-Out-Bags and Vehicle Preparedness appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Long Term Food Storage – A Comprehensive Primer

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By Denis Korn                                                                     foodheart

 

The language of long term food storage – defining and clarifying terms, product options and related information

As the awareness and motivation to store food provisions for extended periods of time grows with every alarming headline, I have been asked to once again post one of the important 15 Foundational Articles.  This is valuable basic overview of long term food storage issues.

I am frequently asked, especially by newer preparedness planners, for a concise overview of food storage basics.  I am thankful for many new readers that have found this blog in the last few months, and I feel that this article: A Comprehensive Primer on Long Term Food Storage is so important that I am posting it again as we approach critical times.  It is directed towards the serious planner who requires information that summarizes the key points of the food storage process.

With so many preparedness websites and blogs and so many instant experts it becomes increasing difficult to know who to trust and what to believe.  This is by no means an easy task.  It takes serious research and asking the right questions – and expecting accurate answers – discerning the truth is challenging and daunting.  I know this is difficult because I not only receive numerous phone calls for help, I personally have seen and heard distortions, inaccurate information and blatant deception.

For over 40 years I have been intimately involved in the preparedness, outdoor recreation and natural foods industries – as a retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, educator and consultant.  You are invited to read any of the articles at this blog that relates to your interests and be serious about answering the many questions posed and researching what I have conveyed.  I hope you will trust my experiences and insights.

Cook versus No-cook

A primary decision needs to be made, as it relates to the specific long term food provisions that you want to procure. Do you want foods that require cooking or do you want foods that require no cooking – or perhaps some of both?

Cooking required food reserves are simply foods that need to be cooked – boiled, fried or baked – in order to be eaten.  Examples include: traditional grains and beans, pasta, bread – egg – pancake mixes and some soup and stew mixes.

No-cook food reserves are foods that can be eaten as-is, or after hot or cold water is added to the foods, and being reconstituted for a short time, are then eaten.  Examples include: freeze-dried and some dehydrated ingredients, meals and mixes, granola, supplements, fruits and powdered drinks.

Cook

Advantages:

  • Readily available
  • Low cost
  • Familiar to those currently cooking from scratch
  • Basic unprocessed foods

Disadvantages:

  • Requires a significant supply of water and energy (heat source – gas – electricity – wood –etc.) – both of which may be in short supply during emergency conditions especially in vulnerable locations
  • Requires time to prepare – could be a significant disadvantage during the chaos of an emergency
  • May be difficult to prepare if one lacks cooking and recipe creation skills
  • Heavy
  • Beware of so called “long term” pouch food companies that use the marking line of “just-add-water” and “freeze-dried” meals.  Many companies use these terms to give the impression that their foods are easy to prepare and have freeze-dried ingredients which have a positive reputation.  Read the labels carefully!  Many companies market their meals as “freeze-dried” yet they contain no freeze-dried ingredients!  Also, you must cook these meals in order to prepare them.

No-Cook

Advantages:

  • Small amount of water required to reconstitute ingredients and meals
  • In emergency situations, freeze-dried foods can be eaten as-is
  • Pre-blended meals are familiar and nutritious if manufactured by reputable companies
  • Minimum time to prepare – could be a significant advantage during the chaos of an emergency
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages:

  • Higher cost for food preparation technologies utilized
  • Food ingredients are processed to some degree

Pouch versus Can

These can be commercially available dried food products packed in pouches and cans, or empty pouches and cans for do-it-yourself packing.  Pouches referred to in this section are ones that have a good quality metal foil barrier with an adequate thickness as one of the components in the layering of the pouch (3 or more layers required).  Metalized, transparent or plastic only pouches are not suitable for long term storage of food.  Cans are rigid-wall metal cans with the proper seal.

Pouches

Advantages:

  • Convenience of smaller units of product for storage
  • Empty pouches are readily available online for do-it-yourself
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • A good variety of meals and ingredients are available from established and reputable manufacturers
  • If properly sealed with an oxygen absorber and stored properly, shelf can be 5 to 10+ years

Disadvantages:

  • Very susceptible to puncturing and pin-holing (rough handling, squeezing, bending and forcing a pouch into a container may create very small holes in the pouch).  This compromises the integrity of the seams and pouch material resulting in the loss of an oxygen free atmosphere.
  • No protection from animal destruction or penetration
  • Must have quality materials used in pouch construction – difficult to ensure if buying empty
  • Many commercial pouched foods are low quality and use questionable materials – must do research
  • If do-it-yourself, pouch must be sealed properly
  • Must be stored properly or there is a risk of damage
  • Beware of companies marketing their pouches as 20 – 25 – 30 year shelf life – this is a scam

Cans

Advantages:

  • The most reliable for long term food storage – 10 to 25+ years
  • Properly sealed cans with oxygen absorbers, can create an oxygen and moisture free atmosphere for a very long period of time
  • Rugged construction – can not be penetrated by animals (except maybe a hungry and aggressive bear)
  • Easy to store and handle

Disadvantages:

  • Increased cost for dried foods commercially packed in cans for long term reserves
  • Not practical for most of the do-it-yourself packers – cans and sealing equipment are not easily obtained – when they are available they can be more costly than pouches and to be cost effective empty cans need to be purchased in large quantities

NOTE:  If protected from potential breakage, properly sealed glass canning jars – quart to 1/2 gallon – with an added oxygen absorber, can be an excellent container for smaller quantity dried foods.  Glass and metal are the only materials available with a zero gas transmission rate – required for long term storage.

Calories versus Servings

A common marketing tactic used by many food companies today is to promote a given number of servings in an assortment, and sometimes to even state that an assortment is good for a given period of time with a given number of servings.  In the preparedness market place today, where people may have to depend on daily food rations for their nourishment, only knowing the number of servings in an assortment is close to meaningless and the information insignificant .  Why?  Because a “serving” quantity and quality can be anything the company wants it to be.  You need more information.

The standard for comparing one reserve food product with another has traditionally been to compare the number of calories of similar products or meals.  This is done by comparing the calories by either: knowing the stated calories and the weight in a given serving of a product; or the number of calories of a food product in a comparable sized pouch or container.  This enables comparisons of similar items from different companies – comparing apples with apples.  Even the government on their mandated nutritional information requires the calories be listed – and the source of those calories.

How many calories does the company recommend one should consume per day, and how many of their servings will it take to achieve this number?

Now you can do the math and compare the real cost and value of one companies products to another.  What is the cost per quality calorie?  What is the cost for supplying the proper number of calories for the time period in your emergency scenario?  Don’t forget it is the quality of the calories that is critical.  Sugar is not quality calories!

Here is the important issue:  The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for the average adult person is 2,000 calories a day (reputable companies generally allow 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day in formulating their assortments).  There are companies who promote a 500 to 1000 calorie per day allowance!

Long-Term

Generally long-term refers to a time period of three – four years or longer.  Many seek food products with that will last up to 30 years.  In the real world there are few situations where one would rely on 30 year old food, however with the application of the proper technology and storage conditions it is possible to still consume 30 year old food.  Boxed, wet pack, frozen, high moisture foods and canned grocery items are not considered long-term for purposes of this primer.

Shelf Life/Shelf-Stability

This term refers to the viable and reasonable life that can be expected of a food product in storage.  During this time the food product must still have significant nutritional value and be palatable and acceptable.

The 7 factors that effect shelf life and stability are:  temperature – moisture – oxygen – infestation – handling – light – time

Food Storage

Simply stated, food storage refers to food provisions that one stores for a long term.  These food products usually have a long shelf life and can be relied upon during times of need or emergency.  There is a diversity of different foods in various forms that can be utilized for a proper food storage program.

Do-it-Yourself Packing

This can be cost effective, customized, fun to do, involve friends and groups, localized and creative.  Before you start packing your foods, be clear about what it is you want to store and for how long.  Are the foods appropriate for your plans?  Do you know how to prepare them?  Do you have an adequate quantity?  Do you have all the equipment necessary to prepare your foods?  What is the nutritional quality?  Are the containers you are using effective for long term storage?

Nitrogen/oxygen free atmosphere

Basically there are 2 reasons for wanting to store food in an oxygen free environment – (1) eliminate the possibility for infestation and contamination from insects and microorganisms, and (2) control oxidation, which leads to the rancidity of fats and oils, foul taste, off color, and nutritional deterioration.  The lower the oxygen levels – the more effective in preserving the integrity of the foods stored.  Lower oxygen levels are directly related to shelf life.

Some foods are more susceptible to oxidation deterioration than others.  It is important to know how susceptible the foods you are storing are to oxidation, because as you will see the type of container you store your foods in may at some point no longer be an adequate oxygen barrier.

Crucial Questions

The serious and conscientious preparedness planner is encouraged to carefully and honestly answer these 12 crucial questions.  These questions apply not only to long-term food storage planning, but also all preparedness planning.

  1. What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  2. How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing?
  3. What attitude are you willing to embody and express during the uncertainty and stress of the emergency scenarios you have determined may exist?
  4. What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing?
  5. During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends?
  6. Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur?
  7. Do you have a list of essential supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency?
  8. Do you have an understanding of the financial implications of your projected emergency scenarios?
  9. What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely?
  10. In your expected emergency scenarios will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate?
  11. What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate?
  12. In your expected emergency scenarios what transportation options will be necessary and available?

Evaluate the entire list at 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

Preparedness/Disaster Planning

The first step in the preparedness planning process is the acknowledgment that you have made a wise and sound decision and have chosen to take responsibility for you and your family, and to be prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  Be encouraged to continue this process with diligence, motivation, and discernment.

This process is basically undertaken in three phases – each one of which will take as much time as you wish to devote, and the degree of urgency you are experiencing.

  1. First, there is an initial assessment necessary to determine the direction you are heading.
  2. Second, there is further evaluation, research, and planning required to develop a firm foundation for the third phase, and to develop the clarity required for appropriate and accurate decision making.
  3. Third, there is taking action and assembling the appropriate provisions and critical information you have determined are necessary for your security and peace of mind.  This phase is ongoing as you continue to evaluate, research, and build up your supplies and information.

The initial assessment

This consists of 6 basic questions that you are encouraged to answer that will lead you along the matrix to your destination:

  1. What is your attitude concerning emergency preparedness?
  2. What are the circumstances or scenarios and their severity you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  3. What is the length of time you will be affected during these scenarios that you will be required to rely on your preparedness supplies?
  4. For whom and how many are you preparing?
  5. Where will you be?
  6. How serious are you and how much time, effort, and money are you willing to devote to research, planning, and action, and with what help?

Disaster Scenarios

We live in a time of unprecedented options and potential scenarios that could create challenging and disruptive circumstances.  What is required is serious evaluation of current events for taking effective action.  The delivery of essential goods and services is so interdependent on a multitude of diverse factors, that a breakdown in any one area can have severe consequences on our daily life.  Here are some potential scenarios for your consideration:

Acts of God – Man made disasters – Earth Changes:  Earthquakes – Government Regulation/Control – Catastrophic Weather – Flood – Martial Law – Asteroid/Comet – Fire – Food Shortages – Pole Shift – Hurricanes –  Societal Breakdown – Solar Flare/CME – Storm/Ice/Snow – Civil Disobedience/Riots – Tribulation/Religious – Tornado – Medical Emergency – Severe Earth Changes – Drought – Economic Emergency/Collapse – Power Outage – Major Accident – Mud Slides – Terrorism Attack – Tsunami – Biological/Chemical/Radiological Attack – EMP  (Electrical Magnetic Pulse) Attack – Personal Issues – Bombing – Job Loss – War – Illness – Cyber Attack – No Internet – Unforeseen Emergencies – Financial Loss – Famine/Food Shortages – Grid Breakdown/No Electricity

Trusting Suppliers – Food & Supplies

Preparedness planning is a prudent and wise action to take.  This search for provisions however, can create a dilemma – Who do you trust?  Remember, you and your family are relying on preparedness products, especially food and water options, to sustain you during critical times.  Some situations can be so catastrophic as to have life or death consequences.  It is this very real potential scenario that compels me personally to take the process of emergency planning very seriously.

Numerous preparedness dealers and websites have recently appeared on the scene, and many are claiming the virtues of their products and are hoping to take advantage of current demands.  I have been in this industry for a long time, and I have seen numerous companies come and go as political, economic, or prophetic issues dominate the news.  With the advent of the internet, it has become even more difficult to assess the reliability of online companies.

Many companies are conscientious and dependable – as a previous manufacturer of food reserve products I have had business relationships with a number of these companies over the years.  Unfortunately many are very questionable.  I have examined their products, their data, and the accuracy of their information – it ranges from inadequate, to unclear, to erroneous.  It is hard to believe that businesses promoting products and information essential for survival in an emergency can be fraudulent and dishonorable, however there are companies who prey on fear and greed and are not principled nor respectable.

USDA Inspection

To package meat products legally, shelf-stable food manufacturing establishments must be federally inspected to comply with the strictest USDA standards for truthfulness in labeling, ingredient conformity, wholesomeness, and cleanliness.

Storage Conditions

NOTE:  The six conditions listed are chosen because these are factors in which we have the control to optimize for the longest reliable shelf life.  TIME is the one factor that we can not control – and it does have a significant effect on the shelf life of various foods.  Nutritional value is lost with many foods over time.  To know with certainty the viable nutritional value of all food reserve items at any given time after a lengthy period of storage – is at best complex or most likely mere conjecture and guesswork.  What we can do is to apply proper planning procedures – do your research with trusted resources, rotate and consume your storage foods, and be realistic about how long you will really need the foods you choose to store.

  • Temperature– This is the primary factor affecting the storage life of foods.  The cooler the better. 40 degrees-50 degrees would be great. Room temperature (65 degrees-72 degrees) or below is generally fine.  Avoid above 90 degrees for extended periods of time. The longer food is exposed to very high temperatures the shorter the edible life and the faster the degeneration of nutritional value.  Note:  There are some “foods” available for emergency preparedness that are known as “emergency food or ration bars.”  These products are generally referred to as “life raft bars” because they were originally designed for life rafts and can withstand high heat for extended periods of time.  They primarily consist of white sugar and white flour, and were not meant to be the sole source of nutrition for a long period of time.
  • Moisture– The lower the better.  Moisture can deteriorate food value rapidly and create conditions that promote the growth of harmful organisms.  The moisture level contained in foods varies depending on the type of product it is.  Have foods in moisture barrier containers (metal, glass) in high humidity areas. Note:  Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 5 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  Note:  Be careful where you store dry foods in cans.  Very cold flooring or any condition where there is a dramatic temperature differential may cause a build up of condensation inside the container.
  • Oxygen – A high oxygen environment causes oxidation, which leads to discoloration, flavor loss, odors, rancidity and the breakdown of nutritional value in foods. It also allows insects to feed on dried food reserves. Without oxygen, insects cannot live, nor can aerobic (oxygen dependent) organisms. Whole grain and beans have natural oxygen barriers and can store for long periods of time in low humidity and if free from infestation. All other processed grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. must be in a very reduced (2% or less) oxygen environment for long term storage.  Note:  Mylar bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 5 years) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  The best long term storage containers are glass and metal.
  • Infestation – Examples include rodents, insects in all their stages of growth, mold, microorganisms, and any other creatures that get hungry – large or small.  The proper packaging and storage conditions are required to control infestation and not allow critters to both get into the food, or have the necessary environment for them to flourish if they are sealed into a container – such as in the form of eggs or spores.
  • Handling – Rough handling can not only damage the food itself, but it can also adversely effect and compromise the integrity of the container in which the food is stored.  Glass of course can break; any pouched item can develop pin holes, tears, or cracks.  The seams on buckets and cans can be tweaked, twisted, or damaged to allow oxygen to enter the container.
  • Light – Food should not be stored in direct sunlight.  Both for the potential of high temperature, and its affect on food value.  Sunlight directly on stored foods can destroy nutritional value and hasten the degeneration of food quality, taste, and appearance.  Foods packed in light barrier containers do not pose a problem with the affects of light.

PRODUCT OPTIONS

Freeze-dried

This is a specific technology that refers to foods which have been frozen and dried at low temperatures in a vacuum chamber.  Moisture is removed by a process known as sublimation.  The term “freeze-dried” is often used to designate a dried food product that requires no cooking.  Some meal blends will contain a variety of no cook, freeze-dried, dehydrated and other drying technologies.

Unfortunately, there are currently unethical preparedness food “marketing” companies that claim to provide “freeze-dried” foods, however their foods either need to be cooked and/or contain little or no freeze-dried foods at all.  Buyer Beware – read ingredient declarations and preparation instructions.

  • Advantages:
    • Foods retain the highest nutritional value, taste, texture and appearance.
    • Foods do not “shrivel up”, therefore retaining their original shape.
    • Foods reconstitute easily in hot or cold water- can be eaten dry if necessary- no cooking required in preparation.
    • The only method used to dry meat products for long term shelf life.
    • The chosen method of drying by the military, pharmaceutical companies, supplement manufacturers, and those concerned with nutrition and flavor.
    • The lowest moisture content obtainable- resulting in long shelf stability.
    • Excellent for fruits, vegetables, and meats.
    • Very lightweight.
    • The Benefits of Freeze-Drying – From a Major Processor’s Site

      • Retains original characteristics of the product, including:
        • color
        • form
        • size
        • taste
        • texture
        • nutrients
      • Reconstitutes to original state when placed in water
      • Shelf stable at room temperature – cold storage not required
      • The weight of the freeze-dried products is reduced by 70 to 90 percent, with no change in volume
      • The product is light weight and easy to handle
      • Shipping costs are reduced because of the light weight and lack of refrigeration
      • Low water activity virtually eliminates microbiological concerns
      • Offers highest quality in a dry product compared to other drying methods
      • Virtually any type of food or ingredient, whether solid or liquid, can be freeze-dried
  • Disadvantages:
    • Energy intensive- requires special equipment.
    • Higher cost.
    • Limited number of processors.
  • Note: There are many newer technologies which can dry specialized foods such as grains, beans, pastas and some vegetables and still retain taste, nutrition and “no cooking required” reconstitution- at a low cost.

Dehydrated

This is a general designation for all foods that have had water removed. It includes a number of different products and dehydrating techniques. Methods of drying include:

    • Air drying
    • Spray drying
    • Drum drying
    • Belt drying
  • Most commonly “dehydrated” refers to: vegetables, fruits, spices, and beans.
  • Spray dried items include- milk powder, dairy and cheese powders, fruit powders, vegetable powders, egg powders, and oil powders.
  • Most “dehydrated” vegetables and fruits are dried at high temperatures for short periods of time.
  • Advantages:
    • Reduced weight
    • Long shelf life
    • Lower cost
    • No waste- compact
    • Easy to use- large variety
    • Many suppliers
  • Disadvantages:
    • Many products like corn, peas, and green beans have to be cooked to reconstitute, resulting in increased time and loss of nutritional value.
    • High temperature drying of some items reduces nutritional value and taste.
    • Texture of some products is altered from original.

MRE/Retort/Self-Heating

The items in this category are wet packed in foil or plastic “flexible” packaging. MRE is a military term that stands for “Meals Ready to Eat” and was designed as combat rations for the military. Retort (available in many grocery stores and catalog companies) refers to the heating process, which give these products a longer shelf life. Self-heating meals are packaged entrees that contain everything necessary to have a hot meal anywhere. The individual flameless heaters were developed for the military.

    • MRE’s are complete meals- entrees, side dish, dessert, drink, and condiments- all in one large pouch.
    • All items in this category require no refrigeration and have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years. MRE’s can last 3- 6 years if stored in cooler temperatures.
    • MRE’s were designed by the military to be eaten for no longer than one month at a time. Extended reliance on MRE’s exclusively could cause digestion issues.
    • Items are excellent for immediate use and easy preparation of familiar foods.

Commodities

This category includes dozens of varieties of grains, beans, legumes and seeds, and can be utilized in numerous forms such as; whole, cracked, flaked, instant, flour, pasta and sprouted.

  • Advantages:
    • Very economical- little cost for significant nutritional value.
    • Easily obtainable.
    • Stores well for long periods of time.
    • Versatility of preparation options and diversity of uses – many can be sprouted.
    • Historically relied upon during emergencies.
    • Reproducible – grow new crops.
    • If prepared and utilized properly, can fulfill total nutritional needs for some time.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Can require large quantities of fuel and water to prepare.
    • Requires significant preparation time to utilize all the diverse benefits.
    • Susceptible to infestation if not properly stored.
    • Requires preparation knowledge. Most people do not know how to prepare basic commodities.
    • If not prepared properly or suddenly introduced into the diet in quantity, grains and beans can cause significant digestive problems.
    • Heavy- Not easily transported if you need to be mobile.
    • Many people have allergic reactions to foods in this category.
    • If you rely on only grains and beans for nourishment for an extended length of time, you may have problems digesting these foods; especially if you don’t normally incorporate them into your diet. Preparation diversity is critical.
  • It is essential that those who choose to rely on commodities know how to properly prepare and use them. It is important to obtain good cookbooks and product information before you buy. Do not count on only a few grains and beans- diversity is very important.
  • Tips:
    • Smaller grains (such as millet, amaranth, quinoa, and teff) and smaller beans and legumes (such as aduki, lentils, split peas, mung, and small whites) will require less time, fuel and water to prepare.  Most are great for sprouting
    • Combine like sized grains and beans when cooking for a complete protein meal.
    • Pressure cookers and pre-soaking of most beans will significantly reduce the cooking time of grains and beans.
    • Newly “rediscovered” ancient grain varieties such as amaranth, quinoa, kamut, teff and spelt, are highly recommended because of their superior nutritional value, unique taste and preparation convenience – available at natural food stores.
    • To reduce cooking times for whole or cracked grains, try adding a handful to a thermos, or similar insulated container, add boiling water and let sit all day or overnight. (Use at a ratio of one part grain to one +/- part water by volume). Add dried fruit, nuts, sweetener etc. and enjoy a no cook hot cereal.
  • Uses for wheat:
    • Whole grain, cracked, flaked- cook for a hot cereal or side dish.
    • Flour- baking, pancakes, sauces.
    • Sprouting- eat raw or add to bread.
    • Soaked wheat (rejuvelac – a cultured sprouted wheat drink) – soak cleaned wheat in pure water 1-2 days. Drink water and eat wheat.
    • Gluten for protein source- rinse flour many times to produce gluten product. Cook in recipe.
    • Wheat grass juice- grow wheat in shallow trays with soil or outdoors in the ground, cut at 6″-10″, juice wheat grass, mix small amount with fruit or vegetable juice.
    • Diastatic malt- ground and powdered dried wheat sprouts, a natural sweetener.

Grocery shelf

This is the category people are most familiar with and the one most will start with when beginning a storage program.

    • Store products you are familiar with.
    • Shelf life varies. If possible contact manufacturer. Generally canned items will last 1-4 years, glass jars 6 months- 2 years, boxes and packages 6 months- 1 year.  Many folks believe quality canned foods stored in cooler conditions will last years beyond ‘best used by’ dates.
    • Buy extra each time you shop.
    • Buy case quantities.
    • Rotate supplies.
    • This category contains items that will complement and supplement other food reserve programs.
    • Mark date purchased on container

Comfort foods

During emergencies it is important to have foods available which are special treats and personally satisfying. These include:

    • Fruit drinks- sodas (all natural of course)
    • Candy- crackers- chips- cookies (also all natural)
    • Chocolate- drinks and bars
    • Popcorn
    • Puddings- cake and muffin mixes
    • Dried fruit and nut mixes
    • Teas- herb teas- coffee
    • Meat Jerky’s

Sprouting

It is not only a good idea to eat fresh sprouts normally; it is an essential during any prolonged emergency where fresh vegetables are not available. Sprouts are live, highly nutritious nutritionally dense foods that contain essential elements for healthy living. They contain enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and much more. In an emergency it can be your only source for important nutrients. They are easy to grow and cost very little for so much value. You can sprout grains, beans, seeds and nuts.

    • Get a good book on sprouting.
    • If possible, use only non-sprayed, pesticide free seeds – preferably organically grown.
    • Sprouting equipment is easily assembled with household items such as glass jars, screening, cheesecloth, or you can buy a number of different sprouting kits.
    • Sprouts are usually eaten raw, and some sprouts can be lightly cooked like beans or used in baking like wheat and rye.

Supplements

Very important in emergency situations when a nutritional diet may not be available.

Many products have 2 to 3 year shelf life.

    • See your natural food store for details.
    • Many products can prevent health problems and illness naturally.
    • Whole food green concentrates are highly recommended. Also, multivitamins, green products, B-complex, vitamin C, seaweeds and immune system strengtheners.

Home Canning/Drying

With an abundance of fresh foods always available, canning and drying your own is very cost effective.

    • Obtain books and literature on canning and drying.
    • Take classes and talk to experienced individuals.
    • Get the proper equipment or learn how to build you own.
    • Know how to properly store canned and dried foods.
    • Canning supplies can be scarce in an emergency. Stock up on jars and lids.

Gardening

If the scenarios you anticipate to occur indicate a disruption of normal food supplies for a long period of time, then you will want to consider planting and maintaining a garden.  Obtain quality, non-hybrid, organic if possible, fresh garden seeds.  Get good gardening books and equipment.  Learn how to properly store seeds – this is critical – for next seasons planting.  Different seeds have varying viability and germination rates over time.

  • It is always a good idea to know basic gardening techniques. If you have a long term planning strategy, gardening is a must for a continuing supply of fresh and nutritional foods.
    • Identify the best foods for your local growing zone.
    • Consider building a green house.
    • Learn how to compost.
    • Use non-hybrid- open pollinated seeds. You can then harvest seeds for the next season.
    • Learn how to save seeds properly. Store seeds in as cool and dry a location as possible.
    • In an emergency situation emphasize “whole plant varieties”. These are plant varieties that can be eaten whole at any point in the growing process. Examples include:

– Carrots – Cauliflower
– Beets – Chard
– Lettuce – Dandelion
– Cabbage – Kale
– Broccoli – Celery
– Radishes – Herbs
– Spinach
– Save seeds of wild edibles.

    • Using shallow trays with a thin layer of rich soil, learn how to grow wheat and barley grass for juice (highly nutritious!), and unhulled sunflower and buckwheat for fresh salad greens

Appliances/Equipment- Food Preparation

  • Cooking pots/utensils
  • Solar oven
  • Alternative stoves- grills- grates
  • Portable stoves that use twigs, pine cones and small wood pieces
  • Fuel- gas/diesel/propane/wood/charcoal/fuel oil/kerosene/shelf stable additive for gas or diesel
  • Generator
  • Sprouting jar/rack
  • Mill/grinder
  • Wheat grass juicer
  • Canning equipment/supplies
  • Pressure cooker
  • Books
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Food containers- plastic/glass/plastic bags/foil
  • Package your own- equipment/supplies
  • Water-purifiers/filters/additives/distillers/containers
  • Camping equipment
  • Non electric can opener

Water

  • Clean water of course is essential for survival. While it is possible to go for weeks without food, after 3 days survival is at great risk without water. Make absolutely sure you answer the following questions.

o How much water do you have available to you in an emergency?

o Will you have enough to clean foods you have stored?

o Will you have enough to cook foods that require lengthy boiling (beans, grains, pasta)?

o What quantities will you need to reconstitute “no cooking required” freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?

o Will you want to wash pots and utensils?

o Do you know how to obtain, store and/or purify water?

o Will you have enough water for sprouting and/or gardening?

  • Plan on at least 1/2 gallon a day per person to survive. One gallon a day per person is considered minimum for drinking, basic food preparation, and basic hygiene. Two gallons for basic bathing, laundry, and cleaning.

Water Sources – Storage – Treatment

Sources:

  • Natural
    • Ponds, lakes, streams, springs, rivers, ocean (use desalinators or distillers only)
    • Know all local locations before an emergency and check quality.
  • Wells
    • Have non-electric collection options available – hand pumps, special buckets, and solar pumps.
  • Bottled , commercial
    • one to two year shelf life – Rotate.
  • Around the house
    • Pools, spas, waterbeds, hot water heater, toilet tank, hoses, pipes – purify before drinking.
  • Collection ideas
    • Snow, rainwater, dew.
  • Survival techniques
    • Plants, underground sources, moisture collection, solar still – get a good survival manual.

Storage:

  • Specially packaged purified water
    • Water in small foil pouches or aseptic fruit juice like boxes – 5-year shelf life.
    • Blue Can canned water – packed in specially lined aluminum cans with at least a 50 year shelf life.
  • Large containers
    • Food grade plastic, concrete, water bladders, cisterns – above or below ground.
  • Small containers
    • Food grade plastic – new is best, numerous types available (If previously filled with food or beverage, used containers can impact tastes and odors), glass. Never use container that held chemicals or cleaners.
    • WaterBrick water storage containers in 3.5 and 1.6 gallon size containers are highly recommended.

Treatment:

  • Devices
    • Portable hand operated purifiers- when rated as a “purifier” the device will kill viruses and filter bacteria and protozoa. Limited types available.
    • Portable hand operated filters- will filter out most bacteria and protozoa. Many types available.
    • Drip/gravity filters and purifiers – counter top transportable units that filter water slowly by gravity.
    • Bottle purifiers- Easy to use, just fill and drink from bottle.
    • Pen like devices- Insert in a glass of water. Utilizes ultra-violet light as a purifier.
    • Desalinators- manual and electric. Removes salt from seawater.
    • Distillers- electric and non-electric available. Steam distills and purifies any contaminated and salt water.
    • Survival Still Non-Electric water distiller is highly recommended.
    • Kitchen units- usually requires water pressure and uses carbon filter element. Some units can be modified to manual use.
    • Boiling- kills viruses and bacteria after 10 minutes (add one minute for every 1000 feet above sea level). May not however kill cysts such as Giardia.
  • Additives
    • Liquid chlorine bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite – only ingredient) – 6-8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) per gallon of clean water, double for cloudy water. For 5 gallons-1/2 teaspoon for clean water, 1 teaspoon for cloudy water.
    • Iodine (2%)- 12 drops per gallon for clean water, double for cloudy water. Has distinctive odor and taste. Not for pregnant or nursing women or those with thyroid problems.
    • Purification tablets- Iodine or Chlorine- Follow instructions on package. Some brands may not kill Giardia.
    • Stabilized oxygen- A relatively new method of purification. Many swear by it, do your research.
    • Katadyn Micropur (Chlorine Dioxide)- Effective against all microorganisms. Meets EPA purification guidelines.
    • Colloidal Silver- New and becoming more widely available. Worth investigating. Reported to eliminate numerous harmful elements.

Water Storage Tips

  • Store water in a cool, dry, and dark location.
  • Store away from odors, waste products, and petroleum based products (if using plastics – plastic containers can absorb odors).
  • Periodically check containers (6-12 months) and add additional additives if necessary.
  • Water preservatives in liquid form are available.
  • Rotate containers if possible with new water.
  • Don’t use metal containers for long term storage.
  • Use water filters on water stored for long periods of time.

Fuel

  • How much and what kind of fuel is available in your local area?
  • If you want hot meals, boiling water or hot water for clean up you must have a fuel source. If the foods you store require cooking to make them digestible (grains, beans, etc.) you must have fuel to boil water. Sources include:

o Wood, pellets, pine cones, plants.

o Paper, trash, cardboard, cloth.

o Propane, butane-bulk and in small canisters.

o Natural gas.

o Heating oil.

o Kerosene, gasoline, diesel.

o Candles, paraffin, fuel gel.

o Coal, charcoal.

o Rice hulls, corn cobs.

o Electricity.

o The sun- solar ovens, cookers.

The post Long Term Food Storage – A Comprehensive Primer appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Vigilance, Transformation and Triggering Events

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By Denis Korn       vigilance3

The political, social, judicial and international events of the last few days are, in my opinion, unprecedented in my lifetime as to the long term implications for our country, society and culture.  And the implications are not for the betterment of our nation and civilization.  The future is now going to bring significant challenges, struggles, pain, and uncertainty – add to this the possibility of tyranny, suppression and persecution; with some commentators saying its the end of America as we know it, others saying it is the beginning of the end.  I hope it is the catalyst for a major upward shift in awareness, positive transformation and nonviolent revolution.

I am not going to get into detail concerning each event and their historic consequences, however for those reading this article in the future, including my children and grandchildren, this is a glimpse into these transformative times and suggestions on actions to take.  Here is a brief list of some of current significant rulings and events that are truly changing the course of our country and civilization.

  • Gay marriage is now the national law of the land – nullifying 6,000 years of accepted religious and cultural norms and blatantly contradicting the Bible.
  • Obamacare continues to be approved by the Supreme Court – the specific words of the act, or any law or act for that matter, do not mean what they state, words are relative and intention is presumed.
  • ID can not be required by any state for the purpose of voting – the flood gates are opened for illegal and fraudulent voting across the whole country.
  • The push for allowing illegal immigration and highly questionable immigration from Islamic countries is in full force by politicians and special interest groups and corporations – this will change the face and culture of our country forever.
  • The President, who has demonstrated his loathing and aversion for our country, now has “Fast Track” authority to determine and implement trade agreements without congressional oversight – our national sovereignty has been given away to a globalist control agenda.
  • In my state, the California legislature and Governor have instigated mandatory vaccinations for school children with no exemptions for religious or personal beliefs – parental rights are gone and we have forced injections of poisonous chemicals and compounds.
  • Special interest groups, organizations, banks, mainstream media, mainstream universities and corporations now control and dictate the course of human events – we the people have been neutered – politicians and educational leaders have been bought off and logic, reason, common sense are just obstacles to the agenda of societal control – we live in an era of persistent and all-encompassing lying, deception and manipulation of the population.
  • The Global Warming hysteria being forced upon an ignorant population will go down in history as one of the greatest deceptions and frauds ever promoted by the same politicians, groups and organizations mentioned above – opposition science and educated skeptics have been demonized, harassed and not allowed to present facts that contradict the Global Warming agenda.
  • There is religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, especially in the Middle-east, and growing in this country, against Christians and Jews – intolerance, especially by left-wing groups, colleges and individuals, is extraordinary and pervasive.
  • ISIS the ultra-radical and evil Islamic group in Syria and Iraq continues to grow, conquer, kill and persecute in the name of an Islamic caliphate – radical Islam worldwide is exerting a more and more irrational and immoral influence and attempting to initiate Sharia law – the President, media and the delusional among us have embraced this madness.
  • The President and the current administration is doing all they can during so called negotiations with Iran, to capitulate, appease and allow the Iranians to have nukes.
  • National and worldwide financial institutions and systems are on the brick of collapse and great transition – this will impact all of us in a very significant way – beware of global financial control in the hands of the few.
  • Events involving police using force has polarized different racial factions in our country, with riots, violent protests, race baiting agitators and agenda driven media creating a charged racial climate that could lead to continuing violence and division – paid operatives have been sent to selected cities to create an atmosphere of hatred and rebellion.
  • The President and many left-wing groups would like nothing more than to eliminate and abolish the second amendment and confiscate everyone’s weapons – every shooting incident sparks irrational justifications for assaulting the constitution – every totalitarian regime in modern history has made disarming the population an essential act.
  • Operation “Jade Helm 15” – an unprecedented military “training exercise” – is being conducted from July to September in the Southwest billed as a domestic urban terrorist training drill.  Enormous amounts of equipment have been sent to the region in what appears as a significant event.  It’s true purpose?

I realize the realities of our times can be depressing, frightening and incomprehensible.  It seems as if we are living in a government controls all science fiction movie about the Brave New World and 1984 future.  Here are two suggestions to evaluate and consider.

First, let these times move us to the security of spiritual faith and not reaction due to fear.  Pray, be encouraged and act effectively.  These times are an opportunity to earnestly assess where our trust truly abides, and an opportunity to develop the proper attitude and a God-Reliance.

Second, be vigilant and continually aware of the negativity, manipulation, indoctrination and deception being presented by the government and the media.  This vigilance should stimulate a fitting lifestyle and worldview and a call to action to create an appropriate preparedness plan.

It is also essential to be very cognizant and mindful of attempting a dialog with those who have been conditioned and indoctrinated into believing a deceitful, fallacious and counterfeit worldview.  Reason, logic, facts and the truth are ineffectual, irrelevant and counterproductive to the delusional and agenda driven ideologue.  I know these are strong words and I also believe these are serious times.  When a person’s innate instinct of self-preservation attaches to one’s ideology and opinion, then truth, common sense and reality are futile.

No wonder so many describe these times as a “zombie apocalypse.”  I pray for a great awakening for our country and the whole world!

This introduction leads me to emphasize and re-post once again, especially for those who have hesitated to carefully consider the need to develop a preparedness program, the idea of triggering events and actions that should be taken.  Awareness of triggering events is useful for everyone at all stages of their preparedness process.  Given the list of current events above, any number of scenarios are possible.  We live in turbulent and volatile times, and while we hope for best, we must be prepared for the worst.  I hope this post Vigilance, Transformation and Triggering Events has stimulated discussion and serious evaluation.

The important question for today is:  How many triggering events have just occurred in the last few weeks?

vigilance4

   vigilance6~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here are the previous articles from 2013 and 2012

As more and more bizarre and disturbing worldwide incidents unfold before our eyes, the focus on a triggering event that will shake the complacent and apathetic into action becomes profoundly real!

As you reflect on the scenarios that you presume might – or might not – occur, think about the concept of a “triggering event.”  Ask yourself, “What are the triggering events that will motivate me to immediate action?” “What triggering event will launch the imminent arrival of the scenario I have presumed might occur or thought wouldn’t occur?” If you have created a list of triggering events, you will be on the look out for possible immediate action. – Share your insights with those who will listen, family, friends and co-workers.

Being able to discern reality from fantasy –  hopeful thinking from critical thinking – prudent planning from no planning – wise counsel from foolish counsel – the truth from the lie – a slick sales pitch from the facts – can be the difference between distress and peace of mind or even life and death during an unforeseen emergency.

You don’t have to believe in catastrophic events to be prepared.  Being prepared for the unexpected is simply a good idea.  Whatever your perspective, being aware of world events during these critical times and the their potential effect upon you and your family and friends is the responsible attitude to embrace.

It is time to be specific!  Whether an emergency can be short term and have only a minimal disruption in your daily routine, or catastrophic requiring a significant change in life style, apathy and ignorance will not be bliss.  While I’m not a prophet or psychic, I do have the discernment skills to realize that we live in very precarious and uncertain times.  Between acts of God or geophysical events and man-made devastating incidents, there are so many potential scenarios that could come to pass, that being continually vigilant is essential.

Based on the potential scenarios listed at the bottom of this post, here are some of my specific triggering events:

  • Declaration of an imminent weather event
  • A pattern of major and/or catastrophic weather events
  • Significant indication of, or actual occurrence of, a major physical event or multiple events
  • Prolonged drought leading to possible food and water shortages
  • Potential loss of job, income or bank accounts due to government or corporate actions
  • Serious personal illness
  • Substantial instability in national and global financial markets
  • The elimination of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency
  • Bank holiday’s
  • An indication of a major financial restructuring
  • Economic collapse
  • Shortages of critical foods, medications and provisions
  • Curious and strange activity of government officials, corporate executives and the very wealthy
  • Social unrest and civil disobedience leading to severe government and police action
  • Indications martial law will be declared
  • The suspension of the 1st and/or 2nd amendments – freedom of speech, religion, assembly, etc. and the right to bear arms
  • Strict control over the internet
  • Major cyber attack
  • Suspension of elections
  • Terrorist attack, act of war or preparation for war
  • Disruption of oil supplies
  • National medical or biological emergency – real or contrived
  • Activation of emergency presidential powers that will control everyone’s normal activities
  • An extraordinary governmental or media deception
  • Severe solar activity that could lead to CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejection) and major disruption of the electrical and communication grid
  • A profound and extraordinary religious, spiritual or cosmological event
  • Signs of an imminent pole shift or major geophysical event
  • An announcement by the government – widespread or to a confidential group – to relocate, leave coastal areas and to seek secure surroundings

 

Be encouraged – I hope none of these events or circumstances ever happen – And if they do God help us – as we help ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbors!

 

 

Be Prepared to Be Prepared

Has anything occurred in your life or in the life of family, friends or community that would have been mitigated or eased if one was prepared ahead of time?

January 2012 post:  As timely today as it was then

2012 has arrived and with it a growing number of people believe serious physical, political and economic events could be occurring worldwide, it is once again essential to direct your attention to what I have identified as a “triggering event.”

Simply put, if you are still hesitating to prepare for emergencies or disasters, I urge you to identify and assign significance to a triggering  event that will finally motivate you to provide for yourself and family during a significant emergency.

I have written on this subject before – it is even more timely today than it was then.  Folks that have followed my posts know that I do not subscribe to the doom-and-gloom end-of-the world mindset.  One’s proper attitude regarding disaster planning is essential in maintaining the environment for critical thinking and effective results.  You are not only what you eat – you are what you think and what you focus your attention on.

Many folks are reluctant to plan ahead, or they assume that the government or others will take care of them, or they are just too busy, or they just don’t think it is necessary.  As an option to doing nothing or to enhance some other method of emergency preparedness planning you have chosen, consider the following.   As you reflect on the scenarios that you presume might – or might not – occur, think about the concept of a “triggering event.”  Ask yourself, “What are the triggering events that will motivate me to immediate action?” “What triggering event will launch the imminent arrival of the scenario I have presumed might occur or thought wouldn’t occur?” If you have created a list of triggering events, you will be on the look out for possible immediate action.  This is especially important if you have considered scenarios that will have a long term impact on the supply of goods and services that are required to sustain your basic needs.

If there are items that are essential to your well-being such as medical products, devices, children’s products, or special nutritional foods, then being alert to a potential disruption of vital needs is crucial. While it is always desirable to plan ahead and have provisions in place, it is better to react at the last minute than not at all.  Know exactly what you need, how much will be adequate, where you have to go to supply your needs, how you will get there, and how you will pay for your supplies.  Obviously some scenarios may offer some prior indications, such as hurricanes, storms, or economic/political issues; while others can occur without warning.  You are responsible – you must choose to act or not – unfortunately non action can have severe consequences for yourself and your family!

If you have been hesitant to act or even reflect about preparedness planning you are encouraged to seriously consider this post.

Scenarios

Acts of God Man Made Earth Changes
Local – Regional National National/Worldwide
Earthquake Government regulation/control Catastrophic Weather
Flood Martial Law Asteroid/Comet
Fire Food Shortages Pole Shift
Hurricane Societal Breakdown Solar Flare – CME – No grid
Storm/Ice/Snow Civil Disobedience/Riots Tribulation/Religious
Tornado Medical Emergency Severe Earth Changes
Drought Economic Emergency/Collapse
Power Outage Major Accident
Mud Slide Terrorism Attack
Tsunami Biological/Chemical/Radiological Attack
EMP – Electrical Magnetic Pulse Attack – No electrical grid
PERSONAL ISSUES Bombing
Job Loss War
Illness Cyber Attack – No internet
Emergencies
Financial Loss

Time Frames

3 Days to 2 Weeks

Minor to moderate inconvenience and disruption of the daily routine.  Basic supplies in the first 3 days would be valuable for comfort but not essential.  An adequate amount of basic supplies after 3 days are important.

3 Weeks to 2 Months

The inconvenience is very noticeable and the routine disruption can be significant.  Supplies required are usually on hand, and stockpiling some supplies will be very important.

3 Months to 6 Months

Preparedness planning is very important and a serious disruption to the daily routine is inevitable.  Mobility and location to wait out the emergency is important in your planning.  Proper supplies will be critical.  Medical and other special needs must be planned for in advance.

6 Months to 1 Year

Unless you are very prepared and are committed to self-reliance, in this time frame your lifestyle will definitely be impacted.  Serious attention to your preparedness planning is required.  The questions covered in the foundational articles must be answered and a realistic plan created.  Action and provisions are essential.  You will be dealing with serious issues during this time period, and you must be prepared.

1 Year or More

Scenarios actualized in this time frame are this most serious and catastrophic, and will require a serious commitment to lifestyle changes.  You will be dealing with national and worldwide calamity.  The extent of the impact on everyone’s life can not be over emphasized.  Significant and detailed planning is required, and even with this an emergency situation of this duration will be wrought with uncertainty.  This will be a time for community togetherness, sharing, and mutual support.  Skills not normally possessed by folks will be required.  Gardening and other self-reliant skills will be essential.  Books, tools, and other valuable resources will be vital.

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Vital Preparedness Planning Questions

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By Denis Korn                                                                            why

If you have read many of the articles I have posted on this site, you will know that I am a fan of Socrates and his method of teaching and dialog, where utilizing and formulating effective questions guide a student through the process of discovery, embodiment and hopefully action.  Here are a series of questions – some taken from previous articles – and some that are new for this post.  They represent a wide spectrum of questions that will help those who honestly and earnestly respond and reflect on the answers determine their position in the emergency preparedness process.

I encourage those reading these vital preparedness planning questions to use them for personal reflection, family planning, business resiliency, small group discussion, lecturing and sharing with serious preparedness planners.

To be answered individually or in a discussion group and for grabbing attention and stimulating interest – for yourself and others.

  • What is the #1 question to answer before you start the preparedness process?
  • What are the 3 most important questions you must answer before you start emergency preparedness planning?
  • The most important factor in surviving a disaster is …
  • What are the 10 essential provisions to always have on hand during an emergency?
  • The first 3 things to do when an emergency occurs (is announced) are …
  • What are the 3 absolutely critical factors that will determine how and if you will survive a disaster?
  • What are the 3 absolutely critical factors that you should know about to effectively function during a disaster?
  • What are 5 things to tell your children during a disaster?
  • The 5 most important foods to have on hand during an emergency are …- The 10…?
  • What are the top 5 reasons you should prepare for emergencies?
  • What 10 things must your family know if you are away from home during an emergency?
  • What are the 10 most important questions to answer when developing or improving an emergency preparedness plan?
  • Who do you trust? – Why?
  • Who do you rely on and where do you get the information and expertise from that determines your personal, spiritual, cultural, and political worldview? – Where will you go for reliable information during a serious emergency?
  • Do you possess the critical thinking skills, common sense, reasoning competency and discernment aptitude to effectively research and evaluate the information presented to you, and those presenting it? –   How necessary are these skills?
  • Do you have a Biblical or religious perspective relating to current events and your responsibility if an emergency occurs?
  • Why do you think you should be prepared for the unexpected? – Or should you not?
  • Do you believe the government, local – state – national, will provide for you or rescue you during an emergency? – Do you really trust the government and others to take care of you during an emergency?
  • If the head-of-household, or you, are away from home, is your family prepared to cope and survive during an emergency? – Who will train and educate them?
  • An eminent emergency is announced – What do you do? – Are you prepared?
  • The grid just went down – Now what do you do?
  • A disaster has just occurred – What do you do? – Where do you go? – Do you stay or leave?
  • Have you prepared a list of provisions to always have on hand? – How many of those items do you have? – What condition are they in? – Are you willing to be responsible enough to take action and stock up? – What about a written preparedness plan? – What are the most important provisions you should always have on hand? – Can you take them with you if you have to evacuate?
  • What is your excuse for doing nothing and not taking any action to prepare for the unforeseen?
  • Are you willing to prepare a list of triggering events that would finally motivate you into action? – What triggering event must occur to motivate you to take preparedness seriously?
  • Can you go camping in your house for a week? – Are you willing to give it a try – before an emergency?
  • Who can help you develop an effective emergency preparedness plan? – Will you involve the whole family?
  • From 1 to 10 – 10 being the highest – What is your current level of security and preparedness?
  • When you plan for the unexpected – do you critically think and evaluate – or do you mindlessly and unconsciously react to whatever you hear or read?
  • What is your #1 emergency scenario? #2 – #3 – Are you prepared for it?
  • Are you convinced that disasters will never happen to you?
  • Your wife’s – husband’s – daughter’s – son’s car breaks down on a remote country road (or anywhere for that matter) – its night – winter – a deserted area – Are they prepared to cope? – Do they have the necessary provisions?
  • Who is relying on you for guidance, reassurance and security during an emergency? – Are you up to the responsibility?
  • Are you spiritually and emotionally prepared to endure during a disaster?
  • When you research, evaluate, and explore during your preparedness planning process, can you discern the difference between reliable and dependable, and erroneous and untrustworthy information? – Where will you go and who will you seek out for truthful knowledge and trustworthy guidance?
  • What are the absolutely critical factors you feel you must address when developing your preparedness plan?
  • What would cause grocery shelves to be emptied?
  • What common and crucial items would be the first to disappear and become unavailable during an emergency?
  • Are you able to be honest with yourself when you answer these questions?
  • What are the potential emergency scenarios for 2015 and beyond?
  • From 1 to 10 – 10 being the highest – What is your belief that a major disaster requiring an effective preparedness plan – either man-made or an Act of God, will occur this year? – 2 years? – 5 years?
  • What are the most impacting government actions that could occur that will require reliance on emergency preparedness provisions?

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The post Vital Preparedness Planning Questions appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Reflections, Goals and Encouragement for 2015

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By Denis Korn

The year of 2015 will be an important year for me in initiating and fulfilling goals and projects that I believe will be crucial given the current state of cultural, economic and political decay prevalent in contemporary society.  This post will offer reflections, plans and end with an updated encouragement I post when I feel it will be of value.  To help you gain some perspective on my background as I comment on the things I observe, I begin with a little history.

A little history

January 2015 is a landmark year for me.  40 years ago I launched my retail Natural Foods store selling “natural whole foods” in bulk that included, among other unique food items, numerous basic commodities, in- house stone ground flours, herbs, my own recipes of just-add-water dried food meals and food reserves in #10 (7/8 gal) cans.  This was the inauguration of what was to become my life calling – which I continue today under the auspices of PrepareDirect – our product website, and Learn To Prepare – my information only blog.  In 1979 this humble beginning was to transform and become AlpineAire Foods, a major player and manufacturing innovator in the outdoor recreation and long term food reserves industry.

5 years ago in January of 2010 I began Learn To Prepare.  My intention was to share my many years experience and insights as a retailer, innovative developer and manufacturer with those serious people needing help beginning and improving their preparedness experience.  The blog is an evolving endeavor to focus on preparedness fundamentals with an emphasis on food related issues.  I have been fortunate is the past 40 years to have not only have created many different preparedness products, but also to have read thousands of articles, talked to hundreds of industry professionals, made hundreds of presentations and studied a variety of related materials.  Learn To Prepare is also unique in that I incorporate my graduate studies and college teaching experience in Philosophy into my articles to provide what I believe to be a critical perspective on a proper preparedness attitude in conjunction with action.

Key Concerns Enveloping the Current Preparedness and Survivalist Environment and Mindset

From the time I began providing preparedness products until very recently – ten years or so – the majority of interest was – to use a general term – family preparedness.  Average folks concerned for themselves and family with the issues of the day, and with relatively easy to comprehend options and priorities.  There has always been a survivalist element to disaster preparedness, however not to the extent we see today.  Why? And what are some of the factors that have created a noticeable polarizing preparedness marketplace and atmosphere?  Is this polarization motivating or discouraging our friends and family to be prepared for the fulfillment of numerous potential and impactful scenarios?

When I refer to a “survivalist” here is the meaning for me from Merriam – Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:

survivalist: a person who advocates or practices survivalism; esp : one who has prepared to survive in the anarchy of an anticipated breakdown of society.

survivalism: an attitude, policy, or practice based on the primacy of survival as a value.

It can be said that everyone is a survivalist because we all want to survive – it is an innate instinct.  This is not however how the concept is applied in today’s media.  The emphasis is on the second part of the definition – one who has prepared to survive in the anarchy of an anticipated breakdown of society.  Here is the root of the polarization.  This emphasis and fixation on the breakdown of our society with all its negative implications, has created a type of revulsion and resistance to properly evaluate and access the whole idea of emergency preparedness and survival during catastrophes and disasters – natural or man-made.  Many of us can not be inundated with nonstop doom and gloom and preached to by those absolutely convinced that the world as we know it will be destroyed, and not finally say enough already.  Add to the constant barrage of end of days hysteria, all the suggestions and appeals to action that any normal person would find extreme, infeasible or impossible.

I want to be clear – I am not a psychic nor privy to underground information. I have however read and listened to thousands of opinions and judgments on our current state of affairs.  And yes, many of the difficult scenarios presented – natural and man-made – will probably come to pass, and yes, we need to be prepared, and yes, we are in for some challenging times, and yes, there are differing perceptions on potential scenarios.  So what are some of the issues and problems surrounding the survivalist, prepper and disaster planner?

  • Those who are exploiting the concerns of the times with fear, greed and conspicuous deception!
  • So many deceitful and ignorant businesses and spokespersons are making it difficult for legitimate companies to succeed.
  • An inability for many – including professionals and consumers – to discern the truth from the deceptive hype.  So much information being put forward by so-called industry authorities is simply incorrect.
  • Educating and empowering consumers to have trust and confidence in their sources for reliable information is not taken seriously by so many ill-informed and inexperienced instant preparedness experts.
  • A lack of critical thinking and communication skills from survivalist spokespersons.
  • A lack of trustworthy leadership.
  • A self-serving and corrupt media that promotes survivalist programming for profit that creates fear, confusion and anxiety.
  • The internet – that has been both a blessing and curse.  There is so much preparedness/survivalist information that is unreliable and inaccurate – and valuable and dependable – that many a sincere truth seeking individual finds it difficult or impossible to discern truth from fiction.
  • The problem once again is manipulation through fear.

The questions I ask those with the survivalist mindset – or anyone for that mater:

  • There are real and significant challenges ahead – Is there a more effective and empowering way to communicate preparedness and survival concerns to everyone without fixating on the fear and greed factor?
  • Have you realistically and critically evaluated the advice being given by so many for actions to take during a serious emergency?
  • Are you aware that the methods being utilized by numerous advertisers, talk show hosts, blog writers and others to stimulate action focuses on mindless reaction rather than critical evaluation?

I want to acknowledge the many sincerely conscientious and committed individuals, businesses and news sources who are devoted to providing truthful information and reliable products.  I especially want to give my appreciation to committed Christian experts who realize the big preparedness picture and offer prayer with their encouragement and advice.  I encourage all readers of this article to seek and discover these faithful individuals, organizations and companies.  I have written other articles available at Learn To Prepare – see the lists on the right column – that focus on the appropriate questions to ask yourself and others that will help in the preparedness planning process.

What’s Coming From Learn To Prepare

I feel personally called to spend more time this year focusing on education and information sharing.  I receive numerous calls from people who want trustworthy advice and guidance.  I hope to create a series of videos on specific topics that will be a visual help in the planning process.  I will also be updating and adding to my Foundational Articles list, Personal Favorites list and Recommended Books list.  These articles truly form the foundation of information available at Learn To Prepare.  It has not been my desire to add numerous posts every month – one maybe two at most.

You will also notice a deepening emphasis on the spiritual and emotional attitudes and perspectives required regarding preparedness and survival.  For me the proper attitude and one’s spiritual/religious faith is essential, and forms the foundation for any effective and successful preparedness program.  Given the issues covered above regarding fear, and the emphasis on the accumulation of stuff and information (nothing wrong with stuff and information – if coupled with proper attitude and spiritual faith), I find a lack of encouragement that focuses on the most important aspects of the preparedness process – the aspects that provide true Peace of Mind.

 

 

We live in stressful and transformative times!

My Be Encouraged post first appeared at the end of 2011 and I have received many encouraging comments about its value in these troubling times.  I especially wanted to re-post this updated version.  It is not meant to be an article about preparedness or outdoor adventure – it is here to be a brief rest from the apprehension of daily life and the anguish of the times.  2015 will be a year of significant challenges – may you be encouraged to endure with sustaining hope!

I felt a personal calling to write and share this prayer of encouragement as a gift to those needing some uplifting words during distressing events and the constant perpetration by media and government of crisis, fear and hysteria.

It is difficult to stay positive, feel secure and be joyful when the world around us appears to be degenerating and transforming, and so many people – especially “leadership” – are egocentric and delusional. 

We all need encouragement to help us cope.

 

  • Be encouraged: to find tranquility, serenity, courage and contentment amid the uncertainty, anxiety and confusion of the times.
  • Be encouraged: to trust GOD to replace fear and worry with peace and hope.
  • Be encouraged: to avoid those who rob you of your passion.
  • Be encouraged: to seek the company and counsel of those who encourage, understand and support you.
  • Be encouraged: to seek the wisdom to be able to discern the truth from the lie.
  • Be encouraged: to discover someone you can truly trust.
  • Be encouraged: to focus your mind and heart on that which edifies, inspires and transforms.
  • Be encouraged: to let go of the notion that you can do “it” all yourself.
  • Be encouraged: to cast off the chains that bind you to discontentment.
  • Be encouraged: to love one another in thought, heart and deed.
  • Be encouraged: to be selfless not selfish.
  • Be encouraged: to be honest with yourself – and others.
  • Be encouraged: to set aside a few moments each day to quiet your mind, open the eyes of your heart, meditate in silence and be thankful to GOD for the blessings that you have been given.
  • Be encouraged: to deflect the negativity, fear and hatred that is thrust upon you daily.
  • Be encouraged: to experience aliveness as much as possible.
  • Be encouraged: to discern the beneficial actions you are called upon to pursue during these troubled times.
  • Be encouraged: to be courageous while you walk among the weak and disheartened.
  • Be encouraged: not to give up on loved ones who are in denial of the truth of the times and ridicule you for your faith and commitment to being prepared for the unforeseen.
  • Be encouraged: to embody the right attitude that will carry you through all the trials and tribulations of your life.
  • Be encouraged: to continually search for and discover meaning in all circumstances.
  • Be encouraged: to embody forgiveness.
  • Be encouraged: to realize and exemplify your GOD given purpose in life.
  • Be encouraged: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – think about (meditate on) these things … Phil 4:8
  • Be encouraged: to pray to GOD with thanksgiving – believe and have faith – let go – follow GOD’s guidance and instruction with patience and perseverance.
  • Be encouraged: to encourage others!

 

Blessings to those who are encouraged by these words

The post Reflections, Goals and Encouragement for 2015 appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Unique Gift Ideas From PrepareDirect

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By Denis Korn

During these uncertain times giving the gift of Peace of Mind this holiday season – or any time – is a noble action.  Here are suggestions from our product site PrepareDirect for your consideration.

All of these recommendations and unique gift ideas are personal favorites and are highly endorsed.

SURVIVAL CUBE – A PrepareDirect exclusive   CLICK HERE  Survival Cube

This collection of vital supplies for emergency and survival preparedness provides a valuable foundation for the necessities required during any emergency. Being properly prepared for the unforeseen delivers real peace of mind. Prepare your kits and provisions for the security and well-being required for you and your family during an emergency.  The contents of this assortment have proven reliability in the field, and are provided by established and trustworthy manufacturers.

All American Sun Oven Prepared Family Christmas Combo
w/Dehydrating & Preparedness Accessory Package and Cloudy Day Cube Stove Kit
  CLICK HERE christmas2014promo2

The new All American SUN OVEN® w/Dehydrating & Preparedness Accessory Package has retained the best qualities of the original Global Sun Oven and added many more user friendly features to create America’s most efficient hassle free solar appliance. Everything you need for cooking, dehydrating, roasting and water purification!  Includes:

  • The All American Sun Oven® Solar Cooker
  • Cloudy Day Cube Stove w/2 Fuel Disks (multi-fuel options)
  • Multi-Level Dehydrating & Baking Rack Set (set of 3 racks w/1 roll parchment paper)
  • Two Easy Stack Pots w/interchangeable enamel and glass lids
  • Two Loaf Pans
  • Multi-Fuel Water Pasteurizing Indicator (WAPI)
  • A totally new computer CD with over 600 SUN OVEN®recipes, solar cooking tips, FAQs, operating instructions, and a video series on how to best use a SUN OVEN® and emergency preparedness tips
  • Includes shipping to the continental US

 

Survival Still Non-Electric Portable Water Distiller Plus Top & Bottom Pot   CLICK HERE steelspout

The Survival Still never needs filters. It’s designed and made in the USA with heavy duty stainless steel and it has no moving parts to break down, which means that if you take care of it, it should last you a very long time. It’s small and compact and is designed to be used in conjunction with standard size pots that you have in your home. The Survival Still is the ultimate emergency drinking water system available today.  This package comes with: A stainless steel Dutch Oven bottom 5 quart pot AND glass lid; A stainless steel 12 quart top Stock Pot AND a stainless steel lid.  Permanently supplies high-purity, sterile drinking water.
• Extremely effective against all types of contaminants.
• Kills and removes bacteria, viruses and parasites.
• Is a permanent solution for purifying sea water.
• Does not need filters, maintenance, infrastructure or a supply chain.
• Distillation is recommended by FEMA and the Red Cross!

FoodBrick Food & Supplies 3.5 Gallon Container   CLICK HERE FoodBrick_10_Pack_9_23_2014_2

FoodBrick Stackable Green Food Storage Container: 3.5 Gallons container holds up to 27 Pounds (264 Adult Servings) of Dry Foods. Made of rugged, high density polyethylene (HDPE). These unique food containers, unlike any other, can hold food and other life essentials while adding value by cross stacking up to 4 feet for maximum efficient storage.  Emergency food shortage is often contained in bulky and awkward storage devices, not ideal for emergency situations.  You need to be able to access your survival food storage quickly, and you need to be able to take it with you if the need arises to move to a safer location. It also must keep your food supply clean; you don’t want the safety of your food compromised. For those looking for an ideal emergency food storage solution, the FoodBrick line of storage containers that are easy to transport and safely store your emergency food supply for years.

C. Crane Observer Wind-up Radio with Solar Panel   CLICK HERE  cc-solar-observer

The Observer is a simple, affordable and compact radio with enhanced reception and audio performance. For emergency use it can be powered in four different ways and can charge many different USB type devices such as cell phones.  The CC Solar Observer is a C. Crane-designed, wind-up and solar emergency radio with AM/FM and Weather Band. They made sure that it has good AM reception and an LED flashlight that is built into the end of the radio. In case you’re wondering, along with good AM reception, you also get FM and the Weather band — which comes in really handy if you’re using the radio during a power failure. The CC Observer has a built-in 2-inch speaker, or you can plug in your headphones for private listening.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

Berkey “Go Berkey Kit” – Gravity Water Purifier – Sport Purifier Bottle – Carrying Case   CLICK HERE                                  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The all new Go Berkey® Kit is the designed for backpacking, hiking, camping, college students, emergency preparedness, world travel (business or vacation), on your desk at work or hundreds of other activities. The generic Sport Berkey® portable water purifier bottle is perfect for when you are out on the trail and the Go Berkey® system works great for passive purification back at the campsite, lodge, etc. The Generic Sport Berkey® portable water purifier bottle can also be used to prime the Black Berkey® Purification Element when water pressure isn’t available. Constructed of highly polished AISI 304 stainless steel the Go Berkey® Kit comes complete with one Black Berkey® Purification Element, one Sport Berkey® portable water purifier bottle and a vinyl carry case This system has a storage capacity of about 1 quart (.95 liters) and when in use it stands 14” in height with a diameter of 4”. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 10” in height. Weighing a mere 2.4 pounds the Go Berkey® Kit is lightweight, easily transportable and perfect for active people on the go.

Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight    CLICK HERE torch250

The most reliable emergency LED light for any situation.  Boasting a powerful, 4,400mAh lithium battery, 250 total lumen output, a 1.5A USB port to charge your gear, as well as a built-in solar panel and hand crank, this multi-function flashlight is the only piece of gear you’ll need in an emergency. Red light for emergencies, and USB port to charge your phone.  There are 3 ways to charge the Torch 250 Flashlight:

The Sun
The Torch 250 Flashlight can be charged by the solar panel located on the back of the light. Or by connecting a compatible solar panel such as the Nomad 7 in about 7-14 hours.

USB
The Torch 250 Flashlight can also be charged by being plugged into a USB power source in about 7 hours.

Hand Crank
The Torch 250 Flashlight can be charged using the hand crank. 1 minute of cranking can generate about 2 minutes of light.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern   CLICK HERE  lighthouse-250standing

Light up any situation with 250 lumens of bright LED light, or use the dimmable, DuaLite™ Directional Lighting feature to extend runtime. Recharge from USB, external solar panel or the included hand crank. The Lighthouse 250 includes a built-in USB port to power small handheld devices to keep you connected to the ones who matter most. The Lighthouse 250 Lantern & USB Power Hub is the only lantern you will need.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Filter and Purifier   CLICK HERE  lifestrawfamily-web-optimized

LifeStraw Family, the award-winning and internationally recognized water filter & purifier, is now available in North America. LifeStraw Family is a point-of-use microbiological water purifier capable of removing viruses, bacteria and protozoa (parasites) to protect against waterborne diseases. It filters up to 18,000 liters of water, enough to supply clean drinking water for a family of five for up to three years.
LifeStraw Family is a large volume water purifier providing up to 4750 gallons or 18000 liters of water, enough to supply a family of five with clean drinking water for up to three years. It’s useful to have at home to purify contaminated tap water in the event of boil water advisories or emergency situations. In a worst-case scenario, you can rely on the LifeStraw Family to purify water from any freshwater source near your home.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

GoSun Sport ProPack – Solar Stove & Accessories   CLICK HERE  propack

GoSun Sport solar cooker is the world’s most practical and efficient solar oven on the market today. GoSun’s parabolic, tubular design works effectively in retaining 80-90% of all sunlight that is caught in its footprint. Cook a meal in less than 20 minutes, using no fuel – only sun.
The GoSun Sport Pro Pack includes everything you get with the GoSun Sport and more! Package includes one GoSun Sport solar cooker (includes cooking tray and cleaning scrubby), plus Padded Carrying Case, an extra Cooking Tray and Serving Spoon/Fork.  The standard package includes a durable borosilicate, evacuated glass tube cooking chamber, two foldable parabolic reflectors that protect the tube like a clamshell, a stainless steel cooking tray with handle for getting food in and out, a rugged cleaning scrubby (attaches to the end of the tray, to double as cleaning tool), and a carrying handle that unfolds to become a set of support legs, which can be used to adjust the tube to face the sun in any position along two axis’.

Goal Zero Lighting Bundle w/Nomad 7 Solar Panel  CLICK HERE   torch250nomad7-new           lighthouse-250standing                                   

A very useful and dependable combination of Goal Zero’s newest hand cranked lights the Torch 250, Lighthouse 250 and a foldable Nomad 7 Solar Panel. 

Get the most reliable emergency LED light for any situation with the Torch 250 Flashlight. Built-in USB charging cable, solar panel and hand crank for bright light anywhere. Red light for emergencies, and USB port to charge your phone.  Boasting a powerful, 4,400mAh lithium battery, 250 total lumen output, a 1.5A USB port to charge your gear, as well as a built-in solar panel and hand crank, this multi-function flashlight is the only piece of gear you’ll need in an emergency.

Light up any situation with 250 lumens of bright LED light, or use the dimmable, DuaLite Directional Lighting feature to extend runtime. Recharge from USB, external solar panel or the included hand crank. The Lighthouse 250 includes a built-in USB port to power small handheld devices to keep you connected to the ones who matter most. The Lighthouse 250 Lantern & USB Power Hub is the only lantern you will need.

The Nomad 7 delivers an ultra-compact yet powerful solar panel that enables you to charge your handheld devices directly from its USB and 12 Volt DC charging ports.

Sampler Pack – AlpineAire Foods Mixed Entrees Case of 12  CLICK HERE       sampler12

An exclusive PrepareDirect offering of a select sampler pack of 12 delicious AlpineAire Foods in convenient foil pouches. Use this selection for sampling some of the nutritious products included in the canned longer term food systems, and/or for discovering the great taste of popular AlpineAire delights.

Use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout for free shipping

  1. Forever Young Mac & Cheese, 7 oz
  2. Leonardo da Fettuccine, 5.5 oz
  3. Mountain Chili, 6 oz
  4. Sante Fe Black Beans & Rice (2), 6.5 oz
  5. Black Bart Chili w/ Beans, 6 oz
  6. Creamy Beef & Noodles w/Mushrooms, 5.5 oz
  7. Southwestern Style Masa w/Beef, 6 oz
  8. Chicken Gumbo, 5.5 oz
  9. Pineapple Orange Chicken, 7 oz
  10. Mesquite BBQ Seasoned Chicken w/Beans & Rice, 7 oz
  11. Pepper Beef w/Rice, 6 oz
  12. Wild Thyme Turkey, 6 oz

The post Unique Gift Ideas From PrepareDirect appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Essential Emergency Kit Information & Advice

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By Denis Korn                                                                                                    Franklin quote

This post – Essential Emergency Kit Information & Advice – is a valuable companion to the previous post Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning – Including Vehicle Preparedness – Latest Update.  You are encouraged to share this post and its vital information with family, friends, business associates, church and temple congregations and other members of any organizations to which you belong.  May this post help you in your serious preparedness planning.  Celebrate Peace of Mind!

Here are the crucial questions to answer when assembling your emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag – which is vital if you must leave your home or business quickly.

  • If an evacuation has been declared, a severe weather event is imminent or a significant disaster has occurred, how will I know?
  • If I have to evacuate, will I be in a cozy government evacuation center with food, water, blankets and a bed, or will I be on my own in the elements, a crude shelter or a friend’s/relatives house?
  • If specific government, church, community and friend’s sheltering options are not available, where do I go? How far? How do I get there?
  • What conditions can I expect to encounter – best scenario – worst scenario?
  • What are the weather conditions I am likely to encounter? What is the season?
  • Will I be alone, or are others depending on me? Family – children – elderly – pets?
  • Am I dependent on others? Who? Why? Do I expect the government to take care of me?
  • What kind of support is likely to be available?
  • How long should I prepare for?
  • What if there is nothing left when I return?
  • Are my essentials, heirlooms, personal treasures, irreplaceable photographs, documents and financial assets secure if I leave with only my grab-and-go bag?
  • Do I have a reliable communication plan to contact family, friends and business associates at a moment’s notice?
  • What is the potential severity of the emergency I might experience?
  • Will I have transportation, or will I be on foot?
  • Do I have enough money on hand to pay for possible shelter, food or supplies if I am suddenly evacuated and away from home or business?
  • Am I truly prepared for the unexpected, a procrastinator or am I in denial?

To have a truly adequate emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag the above questions must be answered. Your personal preparedness bag contents will vary depending on numerous factors such as time, number of persons, locations involved, mobility, support available, season, comfort level desired and the degree of peace of mind you want.

Here is a list of the basic essentials for every kit. Each category will have multiple options depending on how you answer the above crucial questions. Cheap, inadequate and poorly made provisions don’t belong in a quality kit. Prepare your kit as if your and your family’s life and comfort depended on it – because it does!

  1. Water – bottled/filters/purifiers/tablets/containers
  2. Food – ready-to-eat/bars/trail mix/freeze dried/shelf stable/food preparation equipment
  3. Medical – quality medical kit with instructions/prescriptions/glasses/essential medications/sunscreen/dental medic/foot care/safety pins/dust mask/gas mask
  4. Special Needs – food/medical/children/elderly/disabled/pets
  5. Tools – multi-tool/knife/wire/cable ties/duct tape/rope/paracord/gloves/small axe/repair tools/super glue/aluminum foil/ /manual can opener (often on multi-tool)/bungee cords/foldable or wire saw
  6. Communication – radio/hand crank – solar – battery/two-way radios/cell phone
  7. Fire – fire starter/lighter/matches/tinder/flint starter/magnifying glass
  8. Signaling & Orienting – whistle/signal mirror/compass/maps/GPS device
  9. Lighting – Hand crank – solar – battery/headlamp/flashlight/lantern/candles/lightsticks
  10. Power & Energy – batteries – regular and rechargeable/power-pack for batteries & cell phone recharged by solar and/or hand crank/solar and/or hand crank that charges devices directly
  11. Shelter – tarp/tent – tube or larger/plastic sheeting/insect protection
  12. Emergency Blankets/sleeping bags – emergency or larger or bivy sack
  13. Personal Hygiene/sanitary supplies/disinfectant
  14. Plastic Bags/ties
  15. Personal Security – weapon & ammo if appropriate/pepper spray/bear repellant/mace or other options
  16. Appropriate Clothing and Footwear – protection from the elements/apparel for warmth/heat packs – hand and body warmers
  17. Identification and Essential Documents – Bible/compact survival handbook/personal ID/insurance and other key documents/entertainment
  18. Spare Keys
  19. Phone Numbers and Addresses – friends, relatives, and emergency organizations/agencies
  20. Instructions on meeting and/or communicating with family and/or friends during or after an emergency
  21. Cash/credit cards
  22. Pen/markers/paper
  23. Configured Compact Emergency Kit with Essential Items
  24. Carrying Device – carry bag/backpack/suitcase/sturdy container/Food & Supply Brick™/duffel Bag (very durable and if you anticipate carrying your bag any distance shoulder straps should be available with your carry bag or duffel)

If time permits, take irreplaceable items such as heirlooms, heirloom jewelry, photographs, military/marriage/birth/deed records, computers, tablets, and personal contact information and documents not included in your grab-and-go device.

Water
An obvious necessity for everyone. Know what water sources are available to you during an emergency, or in the outdoors. Plan accordingly and don’t hold back preparing for this essential category.

Determine whether or not you want to purify water for viruses.  Not all water filters are designed for this purpose – look for water purifiers that specifically state that they will kill viruses.

Food
Numerous options are available. This category must be accessed carefully and the quality and quantity of foods chosen should be appropriate to the anticipated length of time of the emergency or outing, and severity of circumstances you anticipate might occur.  For shorter term scenarios foods in most situations should be nutritious and ready-to-eat; however you might want to consider some foods requiring only the addition of cold or hot water.  If you do need hot water you must plan for the appropriate means and equipment to heat your water.  Options listed have a longer shelf life and are suitably packaged for kits or backpacks.

Medical
When your health and survival during a medical emergency is at stake, you don’t want to rely on cheap or inadequate medical supplies. This is an important category to thoughtfully evaluate. Don’t forget medications or products needed for those with special medical conditions.  If your pre-assembled kit doesn’t include one, make sure you get a good book on medical emergencies.

Shelter/warmth
Protection from the elements and insects is essential, especially in a harsh climate.

Tools
Numerous unforeseen situations or just routine conditions occur during an emergency or during an outdoor adventure. Be prepared and secure with the proper quality tool.

Communication/Signaling
It is important to keep informed during an emergency with friends, family, and appropriate governmental agencies and emergency organizations. When in an outdoor environment, unsettled weather considerations necessitate weather alert radios. Avoid a sense of isolation during serious emergencies.  If you get lost or are separated from your group signaling can be crucial.  Since electronic items are included in this category, you may want to consider a small solar power device.

Lighting
This is an essential category to address when anticipating any situation where you may be in darkness. Not only for a sense of security and comfort, but to be able to see clearly and act accordingly if emergencies occur in the dark.

Personal protection
For some this may not be an essential basic category.  Each individual must decide the extent to which they will or will not provide protection for themselves and their families from physical harm by others or wild animals.

This article provides a very basic list of suggested items we believe are essential for emergency preparedness and outdoor recreation; especially if space, weight, and mobility are important.  For an expanded list of suggestions read our article: Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning Including Vehicle Preparedness

dilbertDisasterPlan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning – Including Vehicle Preparedness – Latest Update

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By Denis Korn                                                                                                                    emergency_preparedness1

NOTE:  The demand for the information given in this list has been significant – so I am posting it again with additional comments and items.  I have decided to keep adding comments under selected items on a continuing basis – so you may want to periodically check back at this post for new comments.  There are listed both convenient and essential items required for proper preparedness & adventure.  Only you know your unique situations and anticipated scenarios – prepare accordingly.

Many of the items listed in this checklist are available at our product website PrepareDirect.  We will be adding new items and categories continually so please visit us.

 

This exceptionally comprehensive essential checklist for emergency preparedness should be a crucial assist in your emergency, survival and outdoor adventure planning – study it carefully! It is one of the most (if not the most) comprehensive lists available – thankfully copied by many.

For most people planning for emergencies is similar to planning for a camping trip or any other outdoor adventure where the normal conveniences of home are not available. The biggest difference is determining whether to plan for being away from home or in your own residence – or perhaps both. The equipment to include in your emergency kit or camping supplies list will be very comparable. Differences and variations will generally depend upon the severity and length of time you anticipate for your emergency scenario. Long term emergencies and outdoor explorations will require, in addition to this list, more extensive planning and provisioning.

Important questions to answer as you do your planning: 

  • Are the equipment and supplies necessary to fulfill your needs going to be based on how cheap they are, or on the quality, value, and reliability of the product?
  • What are the repercussions or benefits from the choices that are made?
  • Who is affected?
  • What chances are you willing to take with inferior and inadequate provisions?
  • What will the climate be during the emergency or adventure – weather and political?
  • What is the probable availability of essential goods and services at the location where you are or where you are going for your adventure or during your anticipated emergency?

Although this list is an authoritative and comprehensive compilation of crucial supplies for emergency preparedness and outdoor adventure, these suggestions focus on basic necessities, and are not intended to be an exhaustive and detailed list of all choices, as each person or group has their own special requirements and needs. While there are numerous options to choose from in each category, use this guideline of essentials to ensure you have evaluated all the possibilities given the scenarios and circumstances for which you are preparing and provisioning, whether for preparedness planning or outdoor adventuring.

Your comfort, enjoyment and life may depend upon it!

Be clear about the time factors, persons involved, and situations that you anticipate will occur in an emergency or an outdoor experience. Knowing this information is crucial to stocking the appropriate items in the appropriate quantities. Many of these items will be essential for bartering if supplies are exhausted and the emergency you are preparing for is long term.

Proper provisioning is about safety, health, protection, comfort, and peace of mind – for not only you, but also your family and friends.

Items with an asterisk * are recommended for a “grab-and-go bag” or “bug out bag.” This is an easily accessible bag you keep near by to grab when you only have a moments notice to evacuate. Items with a double asterisk ** indicates items for your bag whose quantity will depend on the length of your anticipated emergency scenario. You may require more than one quick-grab-bag depending on your specific needs.

As a complement to this checklist I highly recommend answering the questions in: The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning article.

THE LIST

 

  1. Carrier for Provisions

If you anticipate having to relocate, have your transportable supplies in one or two easily accessible carriers, especially if you must leave in a hurry.

  • *Backpack
  • *Large duffel/canvass bag with duel shoulder straps in case it has to be carried for some distance
  • Lightweight suitcase/sturdy container/Food and Supply Brick™
  • Wheeled device
  1. Water

An obvious necessity for everyone. Know what water sources are available to you during an emergency, or in the outdoors. Plan accordingly and don’t hold back preparing for this essential category. Don’t go cheap!

  • *Gravity/hand pump water purifier/filter/extra cartridges/straw filters
  • *Bottle purifier/filter
  • *Purification tablets – Chlorine Dioxide/iodine
  • *Separate containers for dirty and treated water
  • Multiple containers depending upon situation
  • WaterBricks™ water container
  • Camelback™ & bladder type containers
  • **Specially packaged water (5+ years storage life), Aqua Blox®
  • **Bottled water (2 years storage life) – can be filtered or treated if older
  • Solar or stove top distillers
  • Survival Still® non-electric portable distiller
  • Desalinators for salt water
  • Reverse osmosis purifiers
  • UV purifiers
  • Additives – colloidal silver/bio-active silver hydrosol/stabilized oxygen/BioFilm drops
  • Chlorine (5.25 % sodium hypochlorite, non-scented only with no additives – 6 drops per gallon)
  • Manual pump if near a well
  • Water gathering supplies – plastic tarps/containers/instructions
  • Water stored in your own containers – large and small
  1. Food

Numerous options are available. This category must be accessed carefully depending upon the length of time of the emergency or outing, and severity of circumstances you anticipate might occur. Remember, certain foods will require more water and fuel to prepare – is this appropriate to your anticipated situation? Would you store foods for an emergency that you would not normally want to eat? Foods should be shelf stable and easy to prepare. Consider nutrient dense foods not empty calorie foods. When considering whole grains, seeds, legumes and beans don’t forget sprouting.

NOTE: Many newer food companies are promoting their pouched foods to have a 25 year plus shelf life – beware! Many of these food companies market their foods as “survival” foods – they are just that – eaten to survive only – their quality, packaging and shelf stability is questionable. Would you store foods for an emergency that you would not normally want to eat?

  • **Bars/energy bars/trail mix/food tablets
  • **Other eat-as-is simple and nutritional compact/nutritionally dense foods
  • **Freeze-dried/dehydrated from established companies in pouches, cans or bulk – numerous varieties available
  • Canned – wet pack
  • **Retort wet-pack pouches/trays/self-heating meals
  • **MRE’s (Meals-Ready-To-Eat) – military specs (These military designed rations were developed for troops to be eaten for no longer than one month at a time – they are not appropriate for exclusive long term consumption)
  • Boxed – eat as is/mixes/individual items
  • Baking soda (numerous uses)
  • Non-perishable basics
  • Powdered items – milk/cheese/whey/vegetables/fruits
  • Wild foods/foraging – get a good illustrated guide
  • Bulk commodities – Rice (brown rice has a short – 6 months – shelf life), grains, seeds, honey, beans (smaller grains and beans are good for sprouting and cook quicker with less water)
  • Bulk freeze-dried, dehydrated, air dried, instant, just-add-water, powders – fruits, vegetables, beans, pasta, oats
  • **Ready-to-eat comfort and nutritional foods
  • Garden seeds if appropriate – longer term scenarios – heirloom/organic (You will find many who promote storing garden seeds. You must research the shelf life, storage conditions and germination viability of the different varieties you are storing – they vary considerably.       Garden seeds alone are inadequate without tools, gardening knowledge, the ability to remain in place and of course water. In the long term emergency situation where survival depends on growing your own food, significant planning is vital.)
  • Supplements – vitamins/minerals/powdered green drinks/energy formulations
  • **Concentrated energy powders/bars/tablets
  • Condiments/seasoning blends/salt/coffee/tea/bullion/sweeteners (as natural as possible such as stevia and coconut sugar)
  • Gravy – dry mix or canned (can be added to bland foods for flavor)
  • Cooking oil (olive oil in a steel container has a decent shelf life – avoid hydrogenated oils containing trans-fat)
  • **Special needs foods – Those with food intolerance’s/nursing mothers/children/medical conditions
  • Baby foods
  • Red wine
  • Freeze-dried meats
  • Tuna fish in oil/sardines – high protein and long shelf life
  • **Cooking/heating required for the foods you have in your grab-and-go bag?
  1. Food Preparation

If you must relocate and plan on cooking or heating water, consider lighter weight and efficient equipment.

  • **Stove – camping/alternative/very portable/Kelly Kettle®
  • **Pots and pans – stainless steel/cast iron/non-stick – avoid aluminum
  • **Utensils
  • Pressure cooker
  • **Cookware kit
  • Grills
  • **Fuel – propane canisters/butane canisters/white gas/alcohol/wood/solid fuel cubes/charcoal/kerosene/lighter fluid
  • *Water/food bottle
  • *Hand operated can opener/opener on knife or multi-tool/P38 (for all of us military folks)
  • 5 or 6 gallon plastic buckets
  • FoodBricks™ – from WaterBrick™ company
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Chlorine bleach – non scented
  • *Plastic bags/containers
  • Cheese cloth
  • Thermos for “prepare in container” whole and cracked cereals (Add about a 1:1 ratio of boiling water and cereal –       mix in dried fruit, nuts and sweetener if desired – close container tight – let sit a few hours or overnight.)
  • Knife sharpener
  • “Package-you-own” equipment and supplies
  • Solar oven with cookware/GoSun Solar Stove/All American Sun Oven (both units will also purify water)
  • Manual grain mills/grinders/juicers/mixers/beaters
  • Sprouting equipment – portable and/or stationary/sprouting jars
  • Canning equipment if appropriate
  • Twist-ties
  • Corkscrew/bottle opener
  • Paper plates/bowls/cups/towels
  • Coffee filters – has multiple filtering uses
  • Small storage containers
  • Aluminum foil
  1. Fire Starter – Matches

Be prepared for any situation and the possible need to start a fire, especially if weather conditions are severe.

  • *Flint/magnesium starters
  • **Waterproof tinder/very fine steel wool/products designed to start fires in adverse conditions
  • **Windproof high quality lighters/disposable Bic type lighters
  • **Matches in a waterproof container/storm proof matches
  • Magnifying glass
  1. Medical

When your health and survival during a medical emergency is at stake, you don’t want to rely on cheap or inadequate medical supplies. This is an important category to thoughtfully evaluate. Don’t forget medications or products needed for those with special medical conditions.

  • *Quality kit with adequate components for a multitude of emergencies
  • *Accessories – dental emergencies/suture kit/snake bite kit – instructions/tweezers/safety razor blades/cotton balls/scissors/safety pins/tick removal
  • Syrup of Ipecac (to induce vomiting if poisoned)
  • *Essential prescription medications/allergy medications/birth control
  • *First Aid manual
  • *Insect repellant (non DEET recommended)
  • *Sunscreen/lip balm
  • *Eyeglasses/sunglasses/contacts/repair kit
  • *Copies of prescriptions
  • *Foot care/moleskin/blister pads
  • Aspirin/Tylenol/ibuprofen/other over the counter drugs for minor issues/antibiotics
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Colloidal Silver – internal/external – gel
  • Herbal kits/aloe vera
  • Dust masks/gas masks
  • Potassium Iodate (Iodate is recommended over Iodide)
  • Isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol
  • Anti-itch salve
  • Medications for head lice
  • Ear plugs (it could get noisy at night)
  • Quik Clot® (stops bleeding)
  • Baking soda/hydrogen peroxide
  • Tourniquet
  • Thermometer
  • Latex gloves/Nitrile – latex free gloves
  1. Personal Hygiene – Sanitary Supplies  

Depending on individual circumstances and your location, it is vital to prevent any problems that might arise from unsanitary conditions. Take precautions to ensure a disease free environment. The length of an emergency and living/camping conditions require different approaches to personal hygiene.

  • **Personal hygiene items – soap/toothbrush/toothpaste/shampoo/deodorant/hair brush/comb/dental floss (multiple uses)
  • **Feminine hygiene
  • **Treated towelettes/waterless wipes
  • **Sanitary toilet provisions – portable toilet/powered chlorinates or lime/disposable urinals – solid waste bags
  • *Plastic bags
  • Latex gloves/nitrile – latex free gloves
  • **Toilet Paper
  • Towels
  • Solar shower
  • *All purpose soap/cleaning agents
  • *Anti-bacterial sanitizer
  • Kleenex
  • *Nail clippers
  • Lime/disinfectant/bleach
  • Cloth diapers (multiple uses)
  • Small shovel
  1. Clothing

For warmth, comfort, and protection from insects and the elements.

  • *Proper and adequate clothing for the appropriate season and location
  • *Appropriate shoes/socks/boots/snow shoes/extra laces
  • *Rain gear/poncho/rubberized boots
  • *Cold weather gear – coats/layered clothing/thermal underwear
  • *Hat/gloves/bandana
  • Extra stuff sacks
  • Insect head net
  • Belts – regular/military type with small pouches
  1. Shelter – Warmth

For protection from insects and the elements, warmth, sleeping, comfort, privacy.

  • *Tarps
  • Plastic sheeting/large plastic trash bags
  • *Tent – *tube/*lightweight/regular
  • Shelter building material
  • Nylon patch repair kit/seam sealer
  • *Sleeping bag – *emergency/*lightweight/*bivy bag (small individual size tent/bag)/compact lightweight/regular down bag
  • Sleeping pad/cot/air mattress
  • Hammock
  • *Emergency blankets
  • Regular blankets
  • Sheets
  • Hand/body warmers
  • Insect netting
  • Extra stakes/rope/bungee cords
  • Umbrella

  10. Communication

It is essential to be kept informed during an emergency with friends, family, and appropriate governmental agencies and emergency organizations. When in an outdoor environment, unsettled weather considerations necessitate weather alert radios. Avoid a sense of isolation during serious emergencies.

  • *Radios – hand cranked/solar/batteries
  • Two-way radios
  • Short wave/CB (citizens band)/GMRS (general mobile radio service)/FRS (family radio service)/VHF (very high frequency) radios
  • Ham radio for radio amateurs – need license to transmit and/or radio with Ham frequencies for listening
  • Radios with NOAA (government agency) weather channels (7) and weather alerts if necessary in your area
  • *Cell phones/smart phones/charger
  • Satellite phones
  • *Whistle
  • *Signaling devices/flares/mirror
  • *Notebook/pen – regular & space pen that will write in any weather and position/markers/waterproof paper
  • PLB (personal locator beacon)
  • Small TV – battery/solar operated
  • Telephone not requiring external power
  • Morse code chart

11. Lighting

This is an essential category to address when anticipating any situation where you may be in darkness. Not only for a sense of security and comfort, but to be able to see clearly and act accordingly if emergencies happen in the dark.

  • *Flashlight – hand cranked/solar/batteries/LED and regular bulbs
  • *Lantern (*small or large size) – hand cranked/solar/batteries/propane/mantel/ candle/LED and regular bulbs
  • Oil lamps – kerosene/clear lamp oil/wicks
  • Strobe light
  • *Head Lamp
  • **Extra batteries/power source
  • **Candles
  • Extra mantels/extra propane canisters
  • Light sticks
  • Solar charger for charging rechargeable batteries

12. Tools – Instruments – Accessories

Numerous unforeseen situations or just routine conditions occur during an emergency or during an outdoor adventure. Be prepared and secure with the proper quality tool.

  • *Knife/knives/knife maintenance/sharpener
  • *Multi-tool/Swiss Army knife
  • *Navigation/compass/GPS device
  • Repair tools – hammer/screwdrivers/pliers/wire cutters/nails/screws/nuts & bolts/crowbar/spikes/pulley
  • Repair Kits
  • *Axe (*small or large)/saw (*hand controlled chain or special outdoor)/hacksaw/wood splitting/wedges
  • *Rope/wire/bungee cords/straps/paracord/heavy cordage/cable ties
  • *JB Weld/super adhesive/superglue/epoxy
  • Goo remover
  • Lubricating oil/WD-40®
  • Chain
  • Padlocks
  • *Work gloves
  • Shovel/multi-purpose folding shovel
  • Garden tools if appropriate
  • Fishing/hunting/trapping gear/Ronco Pocket Fisherman®/snare wire
  • *Duct tape/Hurricane tape/nylon repair tape/patches
  • *Plastic bags/trash bags/plastic sheeting
  • *Aluminum foil
  • *Sewing and repair supplies
  • Velcro
  • Safety goggles
  • Weather condition instruments/thermometer
  • *Watch – regular/multi-featured
  • Binoculars
  • Stuff bags for organizing
  • Scissors
  • Rubber bands
  • Small broom/rake
  • Buckets
  • Files
  • Clothes pins
  • Dust/gas masks
  • *Siphoning tube/hose
  • Hand pump
  • *Auto/bicycle/boat emergency items (keep in vehicle)
  • Can of red spray paint to indicate emergency information
  • Shut-off tool for gas/water supply
  • Tool for braking auto glass and cutting seat belts/webbing
  • Fuel – gasoline/diesel/kerosene/propane
  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Fire extinguisher

         13. Emergency Instructions – Guidance – Support – Back up – Personal Documents

Important and accurate information can not only be helpful it can be life saving. Researching reliable and trustworthy information sources is a vital component to preparedness and outdoor survival planning. Establishing family communication and reunion plans is also essential for security and peace of mind. Certain documents should always be available.

  • Books/*Bible/novels
  • Morale builders – personal items that help children and adults cope in stressful situations
  • *Medical information
  • *Emergency/survival information
  • *Manuals appropriate for equipment you have
  • *Maps
  • *Pen/magic marker/paper/chalk
  • *Compass
  • Edible wild foods publications/field guides
  • *Essential personal documents – photo ID/will/insurance/stocks/bonds/birth certificates/DD214/bank account & credit card numbers/family records/personal property inventory for insurance/deeds/pink slips/passports/ Social Security cards/check books/credit and debit cards/irreplaceable photographs and certificates – IN WATERPROOF CONTAINER
  • *Phone numbers and addresses of friends, relatives, and emergency organizations/agencies
  • *Spare keys
  • *Instructions on meeting and/or communicating with family and/or friends during or after an emergency
  • Duel language dictionary if appropriate
  • Solar calculator
  • Back-up computer discs/flash drives
  • Laptop/iPad/tablets/PDA’s/mp3-4 players
  • *Entertainment – music/instruments/cards/games

14. Power – Energy

A reliable power supply can be crucial in an emergency or for various outdoor recreational activities. Many valuable communication, radio, entertainment and lighting devices require power. Currently there are a number of dependable portable solar (large and small), storage, and hand operated units available to power your electronic devices.

  • *For power – a small portable solar charger for electronics and rechargeable batteries
  • For lighting
  • For radios
  • For electronic devices
  • For communication
  • *Hand cranked radios and lanterns with USB charger & power cords
  • Solar/storage/hand cranked power devices – fuel free portable power/small power packs
  • Solar panels
  • Generator – gas/propane/back up fuel
  • Appropriate linking cables
  • *Batteries of all sizes – alkaline/rechargeable
  • *Battery charger – wall/car/solar
  • Deep cycle battery
  • Inverter

15. Cash

It is impossible to know for certain what circumstances might exist during a serious emergency and for what duration normal financial activities will be disrupted. Access to electronic funds or use of credit cards may not be possible. Cash or barter may be the only means of paying for goods or services.

  • *Cash in smaller denomination bills
  • Gold/silver coins
  • Smaller items for barter
  • *Credit/debit cards

16. Personal Security

Each individual must decide the extent to which they will provide protection for themselves and their families from physical harm by others or wild animals. Don’t forget fire safety.

  • Weapons/ammunition/gun cleaning supplies/bow hunting supplies – If you have firearms make sure all those who might use them are properly trained
  • Tazer
  • Mace
  • Pepper Spray
  • Bear repellant
  • Sling shot
  • Clubs/bats
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Large dog

17. Special Needs

This category must not be overlooked if you, other family members, or friends have specials needs and require individual attention.

  • **Personal items specifically required by special needs individuals
  • **Medical items and prescriptions – consider having an adequate supply on hand in the event of a unforeseen and prolonged emergency
  • **Special foods or other items for children/elderly/disabled/nursing mothers
  • *Children’s items for comfort and a sense of security – blankets/dolls/toys/diapers/pacifiers
  • **Pet needs

18. Transportation Support

An often overlooked category, specific transportation support must be assessed especially for longer duration emergencies or for outdoor activities where the transportation devices are critical. Evaluate these options, determine which ones you will utilize, determine what you will need to ensure safety, comfort, repair potential, and adequacy to handle the transportation of your provisions.

  • Motor Vehicle – car/truck/van/RV/motorcycle/extra gas/repair and emergency equipment/trailer
  • Boat – motorized/sail/canoe/kayak/paddle/inflatable/folding
  • Scooter – gas/electric/solar
  • Bicycle – regular/folding – repair parts/tire pump – special towing cart/small gas engine
  • Horse
  • By foot
  • Wagon/garden cart/wheel barrow – for manual needs

Emergency Preparedness Items for Automobiles – Trucks – Vans – RV’s

These items are especially important for long trips, family outings, new younger drivers, inclement weather, remote areas and at night.

  • Spare tire
  • Jack with tire iron and supporting tools
  • Device to break window and cut seat belts from the inside in an emergency
  • Tire inflation device – portable power and/or aerosol can inflator/other tire repair materials
  • JB Weld®/super adhesive
  • Jumper cables
  • Portable power unit for jump starting and backup power
  • Tow cables/rope
  • Chains/cables/bungee cords for tightening
  • Crowbar
  • Reflectors/flares
  • Hidden spare key
  • Extra oil
  • Extra gas/funnel if appropriate
  • Siphon hose
  • Extra fan belts/bulbs/hoses/additives/sealers/hard to get parts/repair kit
  • Window scraper
  • Important phone numbers/documents/insurance information
  • GPS device if appropriate
  • Empty gas can
  • Material to gain traction if stuck in snow or ice – cat liter/sand/wood shavings/old rug

Additional critical items from the above Essential Checklist to carry in your vehicle:

  • Tarps
  • Blankets/emergency sleeping bag
  • First Aid kit
  • Baby supplies
  • Food and water/water purification/containers if appropriate
  • Maps
  • Pen/magic marker/paper
  • Personal documents and photo ID/registration/insurance
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Rope/wire
  • Repair tools
  • Plastic bags large and small
  • Cell phone/smart phone/charger
  • Emergency radio/hand crank radio
  • Emergency lighting
  • Rope/wire/bungees
  • Small solar/12 volt power packs for small electronics
  • Cash/credit card
  • Extra clothing in harsh and/or wet weather/hat
  • Hand/body warmers
  • Rain gear/rubber boots/poncho
  • Knife/multi-tool
  • Whistle
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Shovel
  • Small fire extinguisher
  • Matches/fire starter
  • Extra batteries
  • Personal protection devices or items as appropriate/pepper spray                                                                                                                                      
  • Refer to the Essential Checklist for other items relevant to your vehicles specific needs.

Reproduction of this important Checklist for other media is granted if Denis Korn and Learn To Prepare is appropriately credited

The post Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning – Including Vehicle Preparedness – Latest Update appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Vital Preparedness Planning Questions

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By Denis Korn

What Road Will You Choose to Take?

For those who have read many of my other posts you will discover that I very often use questions to stimulate and motivate reflection and action.  In the preparedness process there are two distinct elements or phases – the research, evaluation, discussion, planning, discerning phase – and the action, building, provisioning, doing phase.  As I have stated before many preparedness planners put the cart before the horse.  They act before they critically think, assess and reflect.  This often creates a situation where provisions and physical preparations are inadequate and ineffectual when a real emergency or disaster occurs.

Focused and effective questions not only lead to the creation of a solid foundation from which to build a successful preparedness program, these questions can be the guidance required for a continuing dialogue and navigating a beneficial preparedness process.  One of the most important articles I have written that elucidate the value of the questioning process is The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning.  I encourage every serious preparedness planner to earnestly answer the questions in that article.

The following vital questions offer insight into a broader perspective of one’s preparedness viewpoint.  Some of these questions are new and some come from other posts that I have written.  They present an excellent starting point or continuing compass guiding the preparedness process.  They are not only valuable for individual consideration, but also an excellent basis for group discussion, workshops, presentations, family conversation, community awareness or stimulating the skeptical into action and responsibility.

VITAL PREPAREDNESS PLANNING QUESTIONS – To be answered individually or in a discussion group

  • Who do you trust?  Why?
  • Who do you rely on and where do you get the information and expertise from that determines your personal, spiritual, cultural, and political worldview?
  • Why do you think you should be prepared for the unexpected? – Or should you not?
  • Do you believe the government, local – state – national, will provide for you or rescue you during an emergency? – Do you really trust the government and others to take care of you during an emergency?
  • If the head-of-household, or you, are away from home – is your family prepared to cope and survive during an emergency? – Who will train and educate them?
  • An eminent emergency is announced – What do you do? – Are you prepared?
  • The grid just went down – Now what do you do?
  • A disaster has just occurred – What do you do? – Where do you go? – Do you stay or leave?
  • Have you prepared a list of provisions to always have on hand?  How many of those items do you have? – What condition are they in? – Are you willing to be responsible enough to take action and stock up? – What about a written preparedness plan? – What are the most important provisions you should always have on hand? – Can you take them with you if you have to evacuate?
  • What is your excuse for doing nothing and not taking any action to prepare for the unforeseen?
  • Can you go camping in your house for a week?  Are you willing to give it a try – before an emergency?
  • Who can help you develop an effective emergency preparedness plan? – Will you involve the whole family?
  • From 1 to 10 – 10 being the highest – What is your level of security?
  • When you plan for the unexpected – do you critically think and evaluate – or do you mindlessly and unconsciously react to whatever you hear or read?
  • What is your #1 emergency scenario?  #2 – #3 – Are you prepared for it?
  • Are you convinced that disasters will never happen to you?
  • Your wife’s – husband’s – daughter’s – son’s car breaks down on a remote country road (or anywhere for that matter) – its night – winter – deserted – Are they prepared to cope? – Do they have the necessary provisions?
  • Who is relying on you for guidance, reassurance and security during an emergency? – Are you up to the responsibility?
  • What triggering event must occur to motivate you to take preparedness seriously?
  • Are you spiritually and emotionally prepared to endure during a disaster?
  • When you research, evaluate, and explore during your preparedness planning process, can you discern the difference between reliable and dependable, and erroneous and untrustworthy information? – Where will you go and who will you seek out for truthful knowledge and trustworthy guidance?
  • What are the absolutely critical factors you feel you must address when developing your preparedness plan?
  • What would cause grocery shelves to be emptied?
  • What common and crucial items would be the first to disappear and become unavailable during an emergency?
  • Are you able to be honest with yourself when you answer these questions?

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What Are The Most Important Elements of Preparedness?

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By Denis Korn

There is an extraordinary fixation in our current culture with all the trappings of physical survival – given the perception of imminent collapse, chaos and oppression.  The degree of hysteria and response to this phenomena is unprecedented in the 39 years I have been in the preparedness industry, and I will soon post an article with my take on what is happening.  I am not a prophet – just an experienced observer of the times and peoples reaction to the radical shifts taking place in our society.  The events that will unfold in the very near future may be catastrophic as many believe or just extremely uncomfortable – we shall soon find out.

The heightened sensitivity to the uncertainty of these times has obviously motivated many to a preparedness/survival mindset.  While so many folks writing articles and blogs are focusing on the myriad of aspects of physical readiness, and a boatload of preparedness/survival websites and advertisers are intensely promoting all the stuff required to survive, I feel the most important elements of preparedness/survival are often overlooked.  This brings our attention to the spiritual and emotional components of preparedness.

In a previous post I talked about Normalcy Bias – the mental state by which people cling to perceptions that are familiar and comfortable – and because of this state they can be in denial of the reality of the circumstances around them.  In some situations and contexts Normalcy Bias may be appropriate; however, in planning for emergencies denying the truth can be disastrous and often deadly.

After acknowledging that there are mental states and attitudes (see Attitude is a Decision) that are necessary to properly plan for emergencies and catastrophes, I want to address the emotional and spiritual aspects of emergency and disaster planning.  Most of the information, guidelines, lists and resources for preparedness focus exclusively on the physical “stuff” required to be adequately prepared for an emergency.  While this is obviously important, it is only one component in the preparedness process when looked at from a holistic perspective.

What is emotion? The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives us this definition:

2 a : the affective aspect of consciousness  : FEELING  b : a state of feeling  c : a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.

This is very pertinent as you engage in planning for emergencies.  The relevant point here is that the preparedness planner experiences a conscious mental reaction experienced as a strong feeling that is accompanied by a behavioral change.  While this appears rather self-evident, it must be pointed out that the emergency planner must be aware of their feelings and behavior and its impact on the decisions made on the physical component of the process.

What are the effects of one’s emotional condition and the correctness of their actions? I have talked with many folks about this issue and have seen and heard of the unfortunate results of decisions made that were a result of not being conscience of the influence of their emotional state.  Understanding the power of one’s emotions and acting responsibly can have a positive impact on taking correct action – losing control of one’s emotions and behavior can be destructive.

As I have discussed so often while teaching Critical Thinking in the college classroom, people habituallyreact to a challenging situation rather than critically evaluate and reflect appropriately.  The quality and effectiveness of their decisions is often significantly compromised.  Essential attributes in the preparedness planning process are DISCERNMENT AND INFORMED JUDGMENT!

What is the spiritual component? The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives us this definition of spiritual:

1 : of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit  : INCORPOREAL  [spiritual needs]   2 a : of or relating to sacred matters  [spiritual songs]  b : ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal  [spiritual authority]  [lords spiritual]   3 : concerned with religious values  4 : related or joined in spirit  [our spiritual home]  [his spiritual heir]   5 a : of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena  b : of, relating to, or involving spiritualism  : SPIRITUALISTIC

For many the spiritual factor is the most important facet of preparedness and the point from which one begins the preparedness process.  One’s spiritual faith and belief forms the foundation for action.  Reliance on God in the decision making process is primary – trust in God’s guidance in making one’s decisions is fundamental and essential.

I believe the spiritual component encompasses the following aspects:

  • The ultimate outcome of the emergency scenario is in God’s hands
  • In a mysterious way God directs the process
  • We often focus our most important priorities in the wrong direction
  • The purpose of the disaster or catastrophe is of a spiritual nature
  • The difficulties and suffering in a disaster affords one the opportunity to choose to come closer to and rely upon God
  • One’s faith and trust in God is tested, and gives one a chance to assess their relationship with the Divine
  • We are not to rely on our own understanding
  • We are not to cling to the notion that our material possessions are the most important factors in our lives
  • The importance of earnest prayer is profoundly evident
  • Catastrophic events are a result of spiritual warfare of which we have no control
  • We are to love, support, assist, provide for, console, teach and inspire our family, neighbors, friends and strangers during the most trying of times
  • We are being required to ask – and answer: What are the fundamental truths I must learn, and who do I  truly trust during trials and tribulation?
  • Why are you being called to prepare and for what purpose?

To believe that being prepared is just a matter of having all the right provisions safely stored away is, in my opinion, overlooking the most important factors in survival, resiliency and effective preparedness.  We must not get caught up in the perverting media frenzy of perpetuating fear and anxiety to such an extent that clear thinking is obliterated.  Successful preparedness – and daily living for that matter – is a balance of physical, emotional and spiritual elements.

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Beginning & Improving Preparedness Planning – Another Look

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By Denis Korn

For the finest in preparedness products you are encouraged to visit PrepareDirect.

It is time once again to evaluate one of the Foundational Articles.  I have presented here a simple and concise guide to the preparedness process.  Your are encouraged to treat this information seriously – your life may depend upon it!  You are also invited to read other articles and posts that go into detail regarding various facets of preparedness.

If you are a newcomer to preparedness planning or have been engaged for some time, the information and suggestions contained in this article will certainly help you begin or add to your experience of confidence and peace of mind, and assist you with practical steps you can take.

The first step in the preparedness planning process is the acknowledgment that you have made a wise and sound decision and have chosen to take responsibility for you and your family, and to be prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  Be encouraged to continue this process with diligence, motivation, and discernment.

It is my intention in this article to present a guideline that can be followed which will lead you on an important journey to being prepared in the event of any number of potentially unexpected events.  This process is basically undertaken in three phases – each one of which will take as much time as you wish to devote, and the degree of urgency you are experiencing.

  1. First, there is an initial assessment necessary to determine the direction you are heading.
  2. Second, there is further evaluation, research, and planning required to develop a firm foundation for the third phase, and to develop the clarity required for appropriate and accurate decision making.
  3. Third, there is taking action and assembling the appropriate provisions and critical information you have determined are necessary for your security and peace of mind.  This phase is ongoing as you continue to evaluate, research, and build up your supplies and information.

The initial assessment

This consists of 6 basic questions that you are encouraged to answer that will lead you along the matrix to your destination:

  1. What is your attitude concerning emergency preparedness?
  2. What are the circumstances or scenarios and their severity you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  3. What is the length of time you will be affected during these scenarios that you will be required to rely on your preparedness supplies?
  4. For whom and how many are you preparing?
  5. Where will you be?
  6. How serious are you and how much time, effort, and money are you willing to devote to research, planning, and action, and with what help?

Elaborating on these 6 questions

Attitude – Are you positive, fearful, confused?  A proper attitude during the preparedness planning process is essential and it is made more effective by exercising competent critical thinking and discernment skills. Reacting from fear or confusion can be an obstacle to efficient planning.

Scenarios – At the end of this article is a list of potential scenarios and circumstances that will help you answer this question.  The events range from mild to catastrophic, and fall generally into 3 categories: acts of God that tend to be local or regional; man-made that tend to be national; and momentous earth changes that tend to be national or worldwide.

Time – Your time frames can be as little as 3 days, which provide only a brief period of inconvenience, or as much as 1 year or more (I know of groups preparing for 7 years), that require a significant change of attitude and lifestyle.  Also, at the end of this article, is a listing of various time frames and comments.

Who – Suggestions include, an individual, family, friends, neighborhood, organization, company, club, or church or temple.

Where – How you answer the “Who” question will effect the answer to this question.  In addition consider whether a vacation/retreat location is applicable and whether there are multiple potential locations to take into account.  Also, if you need to be mobile, what transportation options are available or required?

Seriousness – This question requires your honesty not just wishful thinking.  Your level of commitment is important to the planning process, especially when it comes down to a financial commitment.  Also, be honest about what you really know about emergency preparedness planning.  Don’t be afraid to do serious research and seek true expect opinion and perspective.  Initial or additional knowledge is extremely important – and it might save your health or life.

After you finish this initial assessment, I strongly suggest that you refer to and continue to answer the more detailed questions in the article titled The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning. This will move you into the second phase of the planning process, and assist you in evaluation and research.  The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning is an expansion of the 6 initial questions, and offers more focused and detailed questions to help guide you along.

Another important article, with specific tips and vital information on food and water, and with some similar questions to other articles, is The Essential Emergency Planning Guide for Food and Water. Here is an excerpt from that article from the Where to Start section.

    • Clearly answer the key questions given in the next “Important Issues” section.
    • Determine a realistic response for your unique economic and personal situation. Be careful to avoid reacting to and with the actions of others without first determining if these actions are appropriate for you. Don’t get caught up in a “feeding frenzy” of buying.
    • Create an appropriate step by step plan of action on paper– sooner rather than later.
    • Continue to educate yourself using the vast resources of reliable information. Note: There are those with limited experience and knowledge who have suddenly appeared in the marketplace to take advantage of the situation. Buyer beware!
    • Assemble a library, data files, and Internet bookmarks; subscribe to related magazines, get tapes.
    • Go to conferences, workshops, and church meetings and talk to responsible leaders who have researched the issues you are concerned about.
    • Make a list of items you will need during your anticipated emergency situation. Prioritize it. Determine what you have on hand, and begin to fill your list.
    • Create lists for differing locations, such as home, car, RV, or work.
    • Prepare an area where you live to store your supplies.
    • Make daily life in an emergency situation real to yourself and your family- Turn off your electricity, gas, water and phone for 3 days, and don’t count on any local stores or services. Don’t wait for a sunny, warm day to try this- emergencies can happen in the winter!
    • Think quality- as if your comfort and life depended on it! You must discern between economy and reliability. All too often the cheapest is the least dependable; especially in an emergency situation, and even more so if the emergency is long term.

As you reflect upon and answer the questions in phase 1 and 2, you may choose to wait until you feel confident about the next phase – action – or you may begin (or perhaps you have already began) to gather your supplies.

Summary of Action Steps

  • Answer the 6 questions in the initial assessment.
  • Answer all the questions in The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning.
  • Write down – on paper – the answer to as many of these questions as you feel are necessary to formulate a written preparedness plan.
  • Write down and complete any lists, inventories, important points, insights you have received, or anything else suggested or inferred in the articles that will help in your preparedness planning.
  • Distribute and discuss your easily understood and complete preparedness plan to your family, company, or group.
  • Discuss and request feedback about your plans and supplies with others, as you feel appropriate – friends, experts, suppliers.
  • Continue doing research and evaluation.
  • Create an appropriate place to store supplies.
  • Add to, or begin accumulating and organizing, your provisions.
  • Experiment with the items you have.  Know how to use them – or in the case of food – know how to prepare them and what they taste like (especially if they are unfamiliar).  Emergencies are not the time for surprises.
  • Pray – if you are a religious or spiritually committed individual or family this would be the most important action to continually practice.

Additional tips to consider in the preparedness planning process

Many folks are reluctant to plan ahead, or they assume that the government or others will take care of them, or they are just too busy, or they just don’t think it is necessary.  As an option to doing nothing or to enhance some other level of preparedness planning you have chosen, consider the following:

As you reflect on the scenarios that you presume might occur, think about the concept of a “triggering event.”  Ask yourself, what are the triggering events that will motivate me to immediate action?  What triggering event will launch the imminent arrival of the scenario I have presumed might occur?  If you have created a list of triggering events, you will be on the look out for possible immediate action.  While it is always desirable to plan ahead and have provisions in place, it is better to react at the last minute than not at all.  Obviously some scenarios may offer some prior indications, such as hurricanes, storms, or economic/political issues; while others can occur without warning (see the list of scenarios).  You are responsible – you must choose to act or not.

After you have evaluated the questions and points in this article, a helpful point of view may be the idea of an “extended pantry program,” or what might be considered as a building and expansion of your normal food usage and supplies. Start with a program that is compatible with your needs, assumptions, circumstances, and finances. You may want to start small and keep building.

Scenarios

Scenario Scenario Scenario
Acts of God Man Made Earth Changes
Local – Regional National National/Worldwide
Earthquake Government regulation/control Catastrophic Weather
Flood Martial Law Asteroid/Comet
Fire Food Shortages Pole Shift
Hurricane Societal Breakdown Solar Flare – CME
Storm/Ice/Snow Civil Disobedience/Riots Tribulation/Religious
Tornado Medical Emergency Severe Earth Changes
Drought Economic Emergency/Collapse
Power Outage Major Accident
Mud Slide Terrorism Attack
Tsunami Biological/Chemical/Radiological Attack
EMP – Electrical Magnetic Pulse Attack
PERSONAL ISSUES Bombing
Job Loss War
Illness Cyber Attack – No internet
Emergencies
Financial LossTime Frames

3 Days to 2 Weeks

Minor to moderate inconvenience and disruption of the daily routine.  Basic supplies in the first 3 days would be valuable for comfort but not essential.  An adequate amount of basic supplies after 3 days are important.

3 Weeks to 2 Months

The inconvenience is very noticeable and the routine disruption can be significant.  Supplies required are usually on hand, and stockpiling some supplies will be very important.

3 Months to 6 Months

Preparedness planning is very important and a serious disruption to the daily routine is inevitable.  Mobility and location to wait out the emergency is important in your planning.  Proper supplies will be critical.  Medical and other special needs must be planned for in advance.

6 Months to 1 Year

Unless you are very prepared and are committed to self-reliance, in this time frame your lifestyle will definitely be impacted.  Serious attention to your preparedness planning is required.  The questions covered in the foundational articles must be answered and a realistic plan created.  Action and provisions are essential.  You will be dealing with serious issues during this time period, and you must be prepared.

1 Year or More

Scenarios actualized in this time frame are the most serious and catastrophic, and will require a serious commitment to lifestyle changes.  You will be dealing with national and worldwide calamity.  The extent of the impact on everyone’s life can not be over emphasized.  Significant and detailed planning is required, and even with this an emergency situation of this duration will be wrought with uncertainty.  This will be a time for community togetherness, sharing, and mutual support.  Skills not normally possessed by folks will be required.  Gardening and other self-reliant skills will be essential.  Books, tools, and other valuable resources will be vital.

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7 Things Every Reputable Food Reserve Company Needs to Tell You!

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By Denis Korn

You must trust the company that provides you with the food you and your family will require during an emergency

I first wrote this article in 2012 and it is just as relevant today – if not more so – than it was then.  I continue to be angered and saddened at the ignorance and deception that is still rampant in the preparedness industry.  In the last few years many hundreds of websites, blogs, webinars and food companies have appeared on the scene, and while many are legitimate and sincere, there are too many shysters and instant experts.  So many of these folks are simply badly informed and just continue to pass along misinformation and are too lazy to due serious research, or they simply don’t care what information they put out as long is it sells their products.

Please do your due diligence and carefully evaluate the sources you choose – your comfort, health and survival are at stake!  You are also encouraged to read the Foundational Articles – linked  in the right column – for more detailed information.

 

ARTICLE FOLLOWS:

I have written a number of articles dealing with trust, honesty, reflections, guidelines, questions to ask and recommendations concerning the purchasing of food reserve products.  While the food you rely upon in an emergency is vital and life sustaining, unfortunately few preppers and planers do the valuable research they should for this essential category of provisions.  This post is written to help educate and inform the serious preparedness planner.

Because I have personally witnessed, heard and read so many conflicting, misleading and outright deceptive claims and information regarding foods for long term storage, I am writing this – the first of two – concise and to-the-point articles.  While many food reserve companies are educated and reliable, many are intentionally or unintentionally ignorant and deceitful.

You are highly encouraged to take this post seriously and require that the food reserve companies you buy from know what they are doing, and they need to answer these questions honestly and to the best of their ability.  If they can’t – then buyer beware!  In my opinion – there is something immoral, appalling and disgraceful about companies who take advantage of people who may not be adequately informed and are vulnerable to misleading promotion.  Unfortunately many people are more motivated by fear and mindlessly react, then carefully evaluate the facts and make informed decisions.

Spending thousands of dollars on deceptive advertising, being all over the internet with Google ads, getting high profile talk show hosts and websites to hawk your foods, creating shelf life figures out of thin air, telling folks how nutritious the foods are when they are filled with questionable ingredients, packaging foods in pouches and in a manner that does not assure a long shelf life, and tricking people into thinking they are getting an adequate quantity of foods during an emergency by creating arbitrary “servings” – does not guarantee you are buying value, quality or an adequate supply of vital foods!  The high cost of advertising, endorsements and commissions has to come from somewhere, and all too often it comes from the value of the food products themselves while compromising quality and quantity.

1. If the company promotes their food reserve assortments by number of servings, you need more information to determine what you are really buying and whether the quantities are adequate.

A common marketing tactic used by many food companies today is to promote a given number of servings in an assortment, and sometimes to even state that an assortment is good for a given period of time with a given number of servings.  In the preparedness market place today, where people may have to depend on daily food rations for their nourishment, only knowing the number of servings in an assortment is close to meaningless and the information insignificant .  Why?  Because a “serving” quantity and quality can be anything the company wants it to be.  You need more information.

2. What are the calories in each serving – the ingredient source of those calories (white sugar, non-nutritive calories or quality calories) – and what method, or source of information, was used to determine the calories in their products?

The standard for comparing one reserve food product with another has traditionally been to compare the number of calories of similar products or meals.  This is done by comparing the calories by either: knowing the stated calories and the weight in a given serving of a product; or the number of calories of a food product in a comparable sized pouch or container.  This enables comparisons of similar items from different companies – comparing apples with apples.  Even the government on their mandated nutritional information requires the calories be listed – and the source of those calories.

3. How many calories does the company recommend one should consume per day, and how many of their servings will it take to achieve this number?

Now you can do the math and compare the real cost and value of one companies products to another.  What is the true cost per quality calorie?  What is the cost for supplying the proper number of calories for the time period in your emergency scenario?  Don’t forget it is the quality of the calories that is critical.

Here is the important issue: The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for the average adult person is 2,000 calories a day (reputable companies generally allow 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day in formulating their assortments).  There are companies who promote a 500 to 1000 calorie per day allowance!

4. If a company uses names for their meals that sound like they contain real meat or are similar sounding to meat recipes – is it real meat, soy or gluten?

This is a common deception among many companies who either do not have the legal authority to pack real meat products because they do not have USDA inspected facilities, or they try to make their products as cheaply as possible.

5. When a company claims a shelf life of between 20 and 30 years, how was this determined?

I know of only two companies who have been in business longer than 20 years with long term food reserve products who can verify shelf life, use the proper packaging technologies and have their own testing facilities.  In the 39 years I have been in the preparedness industry, I have never heard of any established major manufacturer of dry food products ever recommending storing foods in any type of pouch over 7 years.  This includes all the established companies packing pouch foods for the outdoor recreational industry.

6. What experience does the companies customers have eating their foods exclusively for extended periods of time?

If a company is selling you foods that you may have to rely upon for weeks, months or possibly years, how did they determine that their foods have the necessary nutritional value to sustain a person for an extended length of time?  This includes children and adults.

7. How does the foods taste and are they formulated to digest properly if consumed for a lengthy period of time?

Many of today’s preparedness food companies are primarily marketing companies that don’t emphasize quality and nutrition.  Their foods must be made cheaply to support the margins required for their extensive marketing budget, commissions and dealer costs.  Study the ingredient declarations – often very difficult to find if not unavailable on many websites – for artificial flavor enhancers, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, fillers and white sugar.  Are there any reliable independent testimonials about the foods you are considering for a preparedness investment?  How long has the company been in the food reserve business?  As happened after Y2K, how likely is the company to go out of business if there is a dip in demand?

NOTE: MRE’S (meals-ready-to-eat – military rations) were formulated by the military for combat soldiers to be eaten for no longer than one month at a time.  They are high fat and high sodium and some people could have digestion issues if eaten over too long a period.

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